March 28, 2017

The Vitamin Alphabet – From A to K

Vitamin Leaf

Welcome to TheFitspired Vitamin Series

Why do I need vitamins? What do they do for my body? What’s with the letter names?

Let’s answer the last question first. Vitamins have names based on when they were discovered. Scientists discovered Vitamin A in 1912, while they discovered Vitamin E ten years later in 1922. As you look below at the list of vitamins, notice the numbers after some letters (like B1) and the skipped letters (like Vitamins F-J). Vitamins F-J were originally declared vitamins, but they were later determined as serving different purposes. As for the numbers, let’s take Vitamin B as an example. We now view Vitamins B1-B12 as the B-Complex. Back in the day, scientists considered the B-Complex as a single vitamin, and we now know the B-Complex consists of many similar, but unique vitamins.

In short, vitamins allow for all the “good stuff” to take place in your body, such managing your immune system so you don’t get sick, providing you energy to get through the day, and helping you burn off those last few unwanted pounds.

Today, we recognize 15 key vitamins for the human body (chemical names vary by structure):

  • Vitamin A – Retinol
  • Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
  • Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3 – Niacin
  • Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B7 – Biotin
  • Vitamin B9 – Folate
  • Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin
  • Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid
  • Vitamin D2 – Ergocalciferol
  • Vitamin D3 – Cholecalciferol
  • Vitamin E – Tocopherol
  • Vitamin K1 – Phylloquinone
  • Vitamin K2 – Menaquinone

In this series, we will cover the role each of these vitamins play in your healthy diet. Make sure you subscribe in the top right above to not miss the latest post!

Study of the day: Food Alone May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients for Preventing Deficiency

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