Vitamins

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Vitamins List

Introduction

Vitamins are a collective name for a series of organic compounds that are micronutrients required by living organisms. Vitamins cannot be synthesized endogenously or in insufficient amounts, so they are required to be consumed through diet to ensure the nutritional balance of the body. Vitamins play integral roles in a variety of physiological processes such as vision, bone health, immune function, and coagulation. Common vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E (Fig. 1).

Chemical structures of vitamin E.Fig. 1 Chemical structures of vitamin E.

Classification of Vitamins

There are many types of vitamin. According to their water solubility, vitamins can be divided into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins (Fig. 2).

  • Fat-soluble vitamins: As the name suggests, fat-soluble vitamins are hydrophobic compounds that are insoluble in water but easily soluble in lipids and organic solvents. Therefore, they are often absorbed by the body along with lipids. Fat-soluble vitamins can be transported in the blood by binding to lipoproteins. In addition, there is no need for frequent intake because fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the liver and adipose tissue for a long time. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
  • Water-soluble vitamins: Water-soluble vitamins are a class of vitamins that are soluble in water but not soluble in non-polar organic solvents. In addition to the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen elements in their molecules, some of these vitamins also contain nitrogen and sulfur elements. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are less stored in the human body and cannot be retained for a long time. These vitamins are regularly excreted through the urine after ingestion, so the body needs a more frequent intake of them than fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and B vitamins.

Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.Fig. 2 Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.

Functions of Vitamins

Each of vitamins is essential for overall health and well-being. The functions of several fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, B, C, D, and E) are described in the below table [2].

Vitamin TypeFunctions
Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A plays an integral role in the differentiation and proliferation of epithelial cells in the eyes, salivary glands, and genitourinary tract.
  • Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from free radicals.
  • Vitamin A stimulates T-lymphocyte differentiation and B-lymphocyte activation in response to immune stimuli.
Vitamin B
  • Vitamins B helps convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy.
  • Vitamins B supports nerve function and neurotransmitter synthesis.
  • Vitamins B is crucial for DNA synthesis and cell division.
  • Vitamins B contributes to healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Vitamin C
  • Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that supports the structure of skin, cartilage, bones, and blood vessels.
  • Vitamin C supports the immune system by enhancing the function of immune cells and helping to protect against infections.
Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D raises plasma calcium and phosphate concentrations.
  • Vitamin D activates osteoclasts which are our body's bone-resorbing cells, maintaining a balance between bone formation and resorption.
  • In addition, vitamin D can also promote the growth and differentiation of skin cells and regulate immune function.
Vitamin E
  • Vitamin E is essential for vision, reproduction, and blood, brain and skin health.
  • Vitamin E inhibits the production of reactive oxygen species during fat oxidation.
  • Vitamin E inhibits lipid peroxidation, including the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
  • Vitamin E protects polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes from oxidative destruction.

In addition to providing compound categories such as fatty acids, alcohols, and esters, Alfa Chemistry also provides compounds in the vitamin category. Our featured vitamin products include L-ascorbic acid 6-palmitate, bexarotane, vitamin D3, retinoic acid, retinol, vitamin K1. Please click on the link at the top of the page to view the product list. If you have any other needs, please feel free to contact us.

Reference:

  1. Reddy, P.; Jialal, I. Biochemistry, Fat Soluble Vitamins. StatPearls. 2022.

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