Basics Of Pharmacy: Types And Functions Of Vitamins

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Types And Functions Of Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds that are not produced by the human body in a required quantity and are supplied to the human body through diet.

Vitamin is a very common word that we hear many times in our daily life but most people are not aware of the fact that vitamins taken from supplements are not as good as we take it from a natural diet. So try to take vitamins from natural sources.

History Of Name

After understanding the importance that diet contain ingredients which are necessary for the human body, the word suggested for these compounds was "Vitamine" derived from "vital" and "amine" later on it was analysed that all "vitamins are not the same as amines so the last word "e" was removed and it becomes "vitamin"

Types Of  of Vitamin

In the human body, 13 vitamins are required and are of  the following two types,

  • Water-Soluble Vitamins

  • Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Water-Soluble Vitamins

  • As the name indicates, these vitamins are Water-Soluble.

  • 9 vitamins Out of 13 are water-soluble.

  • Water-soluble vitamins are excreted by the kidney through the urine.

  • Water-Soluble vitamins are not stocked in the body for a long period so frequent intake is required.

  • Water-Soluble vitamins act as a precursor for enzymes.

Examples Of Water Soluble Vitamins

Following are examples of Water-Soluble vitamins,

  • Ascorbic Acid (Vit C)

  • Cobalamin 

  • Pantothenic Acid

  • Biotin

  • Riboflavin

  • Niacin

  • Thiamine

  • Pyridoxine

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

  • As the name indicates these vitamins are soluble in lipids and can be stored in the body for a long duration.

  • These vitamins are stocked in the liver and adipose tissue.

  • Fat-soluble vitamins are released from dietary fat.

  • Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed and transferred with the help of fat or lipids.

Examples Of Fat-Soluble Vitamins

There are 4 fat-soluble vitamins which are given as Follow,

Vitamin A

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Functions Of Vitamins

Vitamins are important nutrients for the body and are required for the body to perform many functions.

Some main functions of vitamins are given as below,

  • Vitamins are a source of energy which means vitamins provide energy.

  • Vitamins help to boost the immune system and provide protection against various disease conditions.

  • Vitamins, like Vit D, help to make bones strong.

  • Vitamins help in wound healing.

  • Vitamins also play an important role to repair cell damage.

  • Vitamins like folic acid prevent birth defects.

  • Vitamins improve vision and give protection against blindness, an example is vitamin A.

  • Vitamins give protection against many diseases like rickets, scurvy etc.

Excess Of Vitamin

Vitamins are required to the body in a balanced amount and an excess of vitamins may result in harmful effects to the body.

Many supplements available in the market contain a heavy amount of vitamins.

So one should try to take natural foods to fulfil the deficiency of vitamins instead of taking artificial supplements.


Anti vitamins are the molecules or compounds which reverse the effect of vitamins.

In simple words, anti-vitamins prevent the absorption of vitamins and result in vitamin deficiency.

The majority of antivitamins have the same structure as vitamins but work in reverse of vitamins or act as competitive antagonists.


Deoxypyridoxine is an antivitamin of pyridoxine.

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