Vitamins are organic (carbon containing) molecules or sets of molecules that are essential micro-nutrients needed by organisms for proper functioning of their metabolism as well as many other processes and effects including growth, recovery, resistance and much more. Different vitamins are responsible for different processes in the body with most vitamins being responsible for multiple functions.

Classified as either fat or water soluble, fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the human body, while water soluble vitamins need to be provided daily, either through diet, or dietary supplements.

Most major health organizations currently list 13 Vitamins:

Vitamin A - (as all-trans-retinol, all-trans-retinyl-esters, as well as all-trans-beta-carotene and other provitamin A carotenoids)

Vitamin B1 - Thiamine

Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin

Vitamin B3 - Niacin

Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid

Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine

Vitamin B7 - Biotin

Vitamin B9 - Folic acid or Folate

Vitamin B12 - Cobalamins

Vitamin C - Ascorbic acid

Vitamin D - Calciferols

Vitamin E - Tocopherols and Tocotrienols

Vitamin K - Phylloquinone and Menaquinones

Of the 13 above vitamins, 4 are fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) while 9 are water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C).

The term vitamin does not include the other 3 types of essential micro-nutrients needed by the human body: Essential Amino Acids, Essential Fatty Acids and Minerals.


References: Erowid Vitamins Vault, - Vitamins, The Vitamin and Nutrition Center.

This article is provided as a general guide, however we are not doctors. Always carry out your own research and consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.You can read similar articles to this one in our Knowledge Base.