It is common knowledge today that vitamins are an important part of a healthy diet and is necessary for proper growth and development. But this has not always been the case. Our knowledge about the importance of vitamins (and even of their existence) is a fairly new development
Findings of vitamins
People have known for centuries that eating a balanced diet prevented disease. The ancient Egyptians knew that night blindness can be cured by feeding a patient liver, and then the Enlightenment it was well known that sailors could avert scurvy by adding citrus to their diets. But what it was, exactly, about certain foods helped to prevent and cure diseases remained a mystery. It was not until the 1880s that different scientists began to understand that traces of essential drugs can prevent disease.
Various researchers working independently began to understand what these essential substances can be. In the first vitamin 192C (retinol, aka vitamin A) was isolated. In 1912 both vitamin B and C isolated from rice bran and lemons respectively. Within 1929 rolled around, vitamins B2, was E, B12 and K known. In 1929 won researchers Frederick Hopkins and Christiaan Eijkman Nobel Prize for Medicine for his pioneering work in the discovery of several types of vitamins.
Naming of vitamins
Each vitamin is given a general description (ie, “vitamin C”) as well as having a chemical name (in the case of vitamin C, “ascorbic acid”). The first two vitamins were discovered A and B, differentiated because A is fat soluble and B is water soluble. Vitamins were named in ascending alphabetical order by it. But as time went on, there were some substances that had been wrongly classified renamed. This was the case with vitamin H, which was later renamed biotin.
Water soluble g. Fat soluble
Vitamins are either water soluble (meaning they dissolve in water) or fat soluble (which means they can dissolve in fats or oils). Water soluble vitamins can be removed from the body during the body’s daily eliminatory processes. Therefore, water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins be consumed daily to replenish the body’s supply. Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A can build up to toxic levels in the body if a person overindulges in food or supplements high in these vitamins.
In most countries, vitamin supplementation is considered a dietary supplement, which makes them food instead of drugs. This means that vitamins are regulated not by agencies such as the FDA, but the companies that produce them. Today, different types of vitamins available. Some are supplements for a single form of vitamin, while others are multi-vitamins that can give you full recommended doses of many kinds of vitamins.
Vitamins in modern medicine
Vitamin C is used to treat scurvy. Vitamin A can correct night blindness. Vitamin B3 (niacin) is essential to prevent pellagra. B1 vitamin, aka thiamine, used to treat beriberi. Vitamin D staves by rickets.