Notes on Vitamins | Vitamins Chart | MCQ on Vitamins | Quiz on Vitamins

The organic compounds which are require in very small amounts to maintain normal health, growth and nutrition are called vitamins. They are not used in building cells or as an energy source but they act as catalyst in biological processes; their deficiency causes serious diseases.
     The vitamins are complex organic molecules, represented by letter such as A, B, C, D, E, K.
     Vitamins are broadly classified as fat soluble & water soluble
  •  Fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K
  •   Water soluble vitamins: B & C
  • ·   Vitamin B complex: The group of vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 biotin, panthothenic acid, & nicotinic acid occur together in many foods and is called Vitamin B complex
  • ·    Avitaminosis (Vitamin Deficiency  diseases)
  •     Hypervitaminosis or vitamin poisoning is the syndrome of systems caused by over retention of fat-soluble vitamins in the body

Vitamin/Daily need/Chemical Name
Important sources

Vitamin A

Anti xerophthalmic factor
Bright eyes vitamin
 Anti infection vitamin
It is essential for growth & vision.
Anti cancer property.
Necessary for reproduction.
Prevents keratinisation of eye epithelium

 Milk, butter, egg yolk, liver, cod liver oil, (green &yellow coloured) vegetables
Night blindness

(cornea becomes opaque)

Dermatosis (Dry & scaly skin)
            Vitamin D

Sun rays catalyse the formation of vitamin D  inside the skin hence known as Sun shine vitamins
Anti rachitic factor
This vitamin regulates the absorption of calcium &phosphate in intestine.
Calcification of bones & help in maintain teeth.
Maintains the normal functioning of parathormone.

Cod liver oil, fish-liver oils, eggs
Rickets  (Softness &deformities of bones like bow-legs) in children

Osteomalacia (Weak painful bones liable to easy Fracture) in adults

Dental caries

Vitamin E

Anti sterility factor
Beauty vitamin
Act as antioxidant.
Maintains fertility.
Prevents haemolysis of R.B.C.
Specific role in selenium metabolism.
Anti-cancer property.

Milk, ghee, corn oil, wheat, egg yolk, peanut oil, green vegetables, liver
Loss of sexual power of reproduction

 Degeneration of muscle fibres in animals (Muscular Dystrophy)

Vitamin K
0.07-0.14 mg

Anti-haemophilic vitamin
Anti haemorrhagic factor
Coagulation vitamin
Bio synthesis of Prothrombin(an important factor for blood coagulation).
Important role in mitochondrial electron transport & oxidative phosphorylation.

Fish, meat, oils of grains, cereals &leafy vegetables, coriander

Tendency to haemorrhage
& impaired clotting of blood

         Vitamin B1
         (Vitamin F)
1.5 mg

Anti beriberi
Anti neuritc factor

Component of respiratory coenzyme(TPP).
Also required for pentose synthesis & metabolism.

Unpolished rice, whole cereals, egg yolk, liver, milk, fruits & vegetables

Loss of appetite

  Vitamin B2 
(Vitamin G)

Yellow enzyme
Maintains healthy skin & oral mucosa.
Forms flavin coenzymes like FAD &FMN, required as hydrogen carries in cell respiration.

Egg yolk, liver, milk, vegetables, pulses, yeast
Cheilosis (sores at the corners of mouth),Cracked lips, skin disorder

Inflammation of tongue (Glossitis)

Vitamin B3
20 mg
Nicotinic acid/Niacin

Pellagra preventive factor

Forms coenzymes (NAD & NADP) required as hydrogen receptors in cell respiration.
It can be synthesised in the body from aminoacid Tryptophan

Liver, yeast, cereal  grains, fish, meat, pulses
4Dsyndrome (Dermatitis, Diarrhoea, Dementia & Death).
Hartnup’s disease(Hereditary abnormality in metabolism of tryptophan)

Vitamin B5
Panthothenic acid

Forms coenzyme A that activates carboxylic acids in cellular metabolism.
It is required for the normal functioning of the adrenal glands
This vitamin is associate with healthy skin & hair.
Liver, eggs, yeast, milk, groundnut & tomatoes

Fatty liver in man

Burning feet syndrome

Vitamin B6
2 mg

It maintains the nervous system.
Useful in the treatment of nausea & vomiting during pregnancy, radiation sickness, muscular dystrophy.
Cereals, yeast, liver, legumes
Nervous disturbances &
       Vitamin B7 
      (Vitamin H)

Anti egg white injury factor
Required as coenzyme for carboxylation reaction in cell.
Biotin plays an important role in the synthesis of oleic acid by certain lactic acid producing bacteria.
Yeast, liver, kidney

Dermatitis, skin problems

Vitamin B9
 (Vitamin M)
0.5 mg
Folic acid

Purine & pyramidines/Methyl /Histidine-synthesis.
It is essential for growth and formation of RBCs
Liver, leafy vegetables,
yeast, fish

Megaloblastic anemia
(Enlarged RBCs and low haemoglobin content)

Vitamin B12
0.003 mg
Cobalt containing vitamin
Castle’s intrinsic factor-Absorption of cobalamine requires the action gastric enzyme
Formation of myelin.
Maturation of RBC.
Plays a role in the conversion of carbohydrate into lipid.
Promotes DNA synthesis
Stimulation of protein synthesis, especially incorporation of aminoacids into proteins.
Present in all animal tissues, present in liver, kidney, eggs, ruminant stomach of cattle

Pernicious anaemia (Decrease in the number of RBCs formation in the bone marrow)

Causes nervous disorder

Vitamin B15
Pangamic acid

It helps in the utilization of oxygen by the cells & promotes the oxidation of alcohol in the organism.
It is used to treat certain cardiac &  vascular diseases
  Seeds of many plants

      Vitamin B17

Anticancer property
  Wheat grass juice

Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid
 Cevitamic acid

 Anti scorbutic factor

Maintains skin and helps in development of body resistance against diseases.
Synthesis of collagen.
Synthesis of adrenal steroid hormone.

Oranges, lemons, grapes, tamatoes,sprouted seeds, green vegetables, guava

Scurvy(Sailors disease)
 Dental caries, anaemia
Vitamin P

Maintaining resistance in the cells & walls of blood capillaries to permeation.
Anti oxidant
Orange, Lemon, fruits & vegetables


1.Which of the following is a water soluble vitamin?
A) Vitamin A 
B) Vitamin B 
C) Vitamin K
D) Vitamin D

Ans: B) Vitamin B  

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