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A vitamin is an organic molecule (or a set of molecules closely related chemically, i.e. vitamers) that is an essential micronutrient which an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the organism, either at all or not in sufficient quantities, and therefore must be obtained through the diet. Vitamin C can be synthesized by some species but not by others; it is not a vitamin in the first instance but is in the second. The term vitamin does not include the three other groups of essential nutrients: minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. Most vitamins are not single molecules, but groups of related molecules called vitamers. For example, there are eight vitamers of vitamin E: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Some sources list fourteen vitamins, by including choline, but major health organizations list thirteen: vitamin A (as all-trans-retinol, all-trans-retinyl-esters, as well as all-trans-beta-carotene and other provitamin A carotenoids), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate), vitamin B12 (cobalamins), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin D (calciferols), vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols), and vitamin K (phylloquinone and menaquinones).Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions. Vitamin A acts as a regulator of cell and tissue growth and differentiation. Vitamin D provides a hormone-like function, regulating mineral metabolism for bones and other organs.
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Tips For Getting The Vitamins You Need

Many people today are interested in leading a healthy lifestyle by taking vitamins and minerals but sadly they don't know the right ones to take. If you would like good advice about vitamins and minerals but don't know where to begin, the following article is a great start. Keep reading to educated yourself on this subject. If you are planning on taking any vitamins and minerals, you should try to schedule them around mealtimes. When you eat and digest your food, stomach acid is produced. This can help break down any vitamins you are consuming, which means that they will be a lot more effective. Try adding more magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D to your diet if you are feeling sad. A deficiency in any of these may actually lead to depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to support brain health, while magnesium can help your body and mind calm down and relax. Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2 is found in many dairy products, green beans, popcorn, asparagus, and bananas. Vitamin B2 deficiency can cause cracked and scaly skin and can decrease hemoglobin levels in your blood. Patients who get enough riboflavin may face a decreased risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome, cancer, anemia, and cataracts. Although all vitamins and minerals are important, some are even more important for growing children. When planning your child's diet, make sure they are getting enough vitamins A, C and D, as well as the B vitamins. Calcium and iron are also very important for your growing children's bodies. As many nasty air borne germs that lead to illness become immune themselves to our vaccination methods, the time is ideal to start adding vitamins to your diet. Vitamin C, E and others will often do more to fight off a cold or flu in some people than anything a doctor injects in our body so why not win the fight before it can even begin? Not all multivitamins are created equal. In fact, you need to be checking to ensure that the list of vitamins and minerals included in the multivitamin account for 100 percent of your daily allowances. Therefore, you are ensuring that you are getting all the essential nutrients that you should be getting from a multivitamin. Try making sure you get enough calcium in your diet. It can help you maintain and build strong teeth and bones. It also boosts muscle function. You can find it in foods and beverages, such as broccoli, orange juice, tofu, dairy products, and spinach. If you cannot get enough calcium through food, there are also calcium supplements. Believe it or not, taking more of a vitamin is not beneficial and can actually be harmful. Depending on the vitamin, large amounts can have adverse effects and cause problems with how any medication you are taking works. Vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron need to be taken with the recommended daily allowance and not more.