Are essential micronutrients that the body needs in small amounts to function properly. They are found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and meats. Vitamins can also be taken as supplements. Vitamins are required by the body in relatively small amounts, usually measured in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg).
There are two types of vitamins:
- Fat-soluble vitamins: These vitamins dissolve in fat and can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue. Examples include vitamin A, D, E, and K.
- Water-soluble vitamins: These vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored in the body. Examples include vitamin C and the B-vitamins.
Examples of vitamins and their functions include:
- Vitamin A: important for vision, bone growth, and a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin B12: necessary for the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- Vitamin C: important for the production of collagen, a protein that helps to form blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone.
- Vitamin D: helps the body to absorb calcium, necessary for strong bones and teeth.
- Vitamin E: an antioxidant that helps to protect the body’s cells from damage.
- Vitamin K: helps the blood to clot and is important for bone health.