The ABC's of Vitamins
Vitamin Breakdown: Water vs. FatREAD MORE
Follow the alphabetical lettering of the vitamins and you quickly see it’s not so alphabetical at all: A, B, C, D, E, F … K? What happened to vitamins F, G, H, I and J?
Letter names were assigned to each vitamin in keeping with the chronology of their discovery, beginning with Vitamin A in 1913. Here are a few that didn’t make it into the alphabet soup:
- Vitamin F: Two fatty acids were discovered and quickly labeled Vitamin F in 1923. But F got a downgrade in 1930 when it was determined that the acids were more appropriately grouped with the fats.
- Vitamin G: Sometimes used to describe riboflavin, or B2. Once researchers decided that several vitamins fit matching criteria for the B family, the names changed.
- Vitamin H: Sometimes used to describe biotin, or B7.
- Vitamin I: Also used, although rarely, to describe biotin (B7). The letter I may also be avoided in medical nomenclature to avoid confusion with inositol, which has vital roles in the body but is not truly a vitamin.
- Vitamin J: Sometimes used to describe choline which, although not a vitamin, is often grouped with B vitamins since it has similar functions and appears in many of the same foods.
What Vitamins DoREAD MORE
Once absorbed through the digestive system and circulated in the bloodstream, each vitamin is relayed to an organ or system to help with a specific function. Each vitamin holds down several jobs, too.
Vitamins help build tissues in the body, from the lining that protects your eye to the muscles in your leg and the bone beneath them. They assist in the activity of enzymes, which are the catalysts for diverse chemical reactions in the body. They help balance hormones and relay messages to and from the brain. Vitamins strengthen and protect the functioning of the heart, brain, and lungs. And though vitamins don’t directly produce energy, they help elicit energy from the foods we consume.
Vitamins also aid in protecting the tissues they’ve helped to build. Some vitamins have antioxidant properties, meaning that they aid the immune system by blocking free radicals, which cause cellular damage. As such, vitamins are crucial in the prevention of many diseases, evident in the conditions that beset people with vitamin deficiencies. LESS