Vitamins are essential in metabolism and necessary for growth and for the proper functioning of the body. Vitamins can be classified based on their solubility: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
Water soluble vitamins
- Group B vitamins and vitamin C. They are soluble in water. They cannot be stored, they must be consumed frequently, preferably daily. When ingested in excess they can be excreted in the urine.
- Vitamin B1 or thiamine participates as a cofactor in different enzymatic systems related to the release of energy from the consumption of carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is also part of several coenzymes (FMN and FAD), thus participating in the metabolism of food.
- Vitamin B3, niacin or nicotinamide, constitutes the active group of two coenzymes (NADP and NAD) which, when combined with specific proteins, intervenes in various phases of the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids and other substances.
- Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is one of the essential constituents of coenzyme A; participates in many enzymatic processes.
- Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine participates in many reactions of amino acid metabolism, and in the degradation of tryptophan to niacin.
- Vitamin B8 or biotin or vitamin H acts as a coenzyme in carboxylation reactions.
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid participates in the metabolism of monocarbon radicals.
- Vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin is a mixture of several related cobalt-containing compounds. In plasma and tissues its major forms are methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and hydroxycobalamin.
- vitamin co Ascorbic acid participates in many enzymatic reactions, such as the oxidation of certain amino acids, in the conversion of folic acid to folinic acid and in the transport of iron, since it reduces it and favors its intestinal absorption.
Fat soluble vitamins
- Vitamins A, D, E and K. They are soluble in the fat of food. They are stored in body fat, so you don’t need to take them every day.
- Vitamin A or retinol has multiple functions: it participates in the metabolism of steroids and cholesterol, in the maintenance of the immune system and in embryonic development. It is also very important for vision, and to maintain healthy skin and tissues, especially mucous membranes.
- Vitamin D or calciferol is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
- vitamin eit acts as an antioxidant, protects many tissues from destruction by oxidation and also other vitamins such as A and C, and polyunsaturated fatty acids in food, so its needs are related to the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet.
- Vitamin K is involved in the coagulation mechanism and is important in the regulation of bone mineralization.