This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Vitamins are a group of unrelated organic substances occurring in many foods in small amounts and necessary in trace amounts for the normal metabolic functioning of the body. They cannot be synthesized by body cells. Deficiencies, usually the result of globally poor nutrition, produce well-characterized clinical symptoms and signs.

Fat soluble vitamins:

  • vitamins A, D, E, K

Water soluble vitamins:

  • vitamins B1, B2, niacin, B6, B12, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, C

Water soluble vitamins are less readily stored than their fat soluble counterparts. Consequently, in the absence of intake, deficiencies of the former tend to occur more rapidly.

In illness, an elevation of the metabolic rate increases the turnover of vitamins and particularly the water soluble group. This is because they are largely involved as co-factors in a number of metabolic pathways. Consequently, allowance should be made for additional supplementation in such circumstances.

The term `vitamine' came into use in 1912, when it was thought that the compound in question was an amine essential to life. The `e' was subsequently dropped when it became clear that these substances were not amines.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.