Vitamins are very complicated compounds. When vitamins were discovered, their chemical nature was not well known. Therefore, they were denoted with English letters as A, B, C, D, E and K. Now it is known that vitamin B is not a single vitamin but a group of vitamins call ed as vitamin B complex. It has eight different compounds as B1, B2 etc although they have no energy value but they are essential in small quantities for the normal activities of life. It has been observed that when animals were given a diet rich in carbohydrates, fats and proteins but lacking vitamins, the growth and development of the organisms were affected and the animal suffered from various diseases. Vitamins are needed for healthy growth and development of the body. They also serve as enzyme.
Plants can prepare their vitamins from simple substances but animals obtain it directly or indirectly from plants. Fifteen or more vitamins have been isolated and most of them seem to act as essential part of coenzyme involved in chemical changes taking place in the body.
If our diet has variety and consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, our body will receive all those vitamins which are necessary for us.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Some vitamins are fat-soluble and can be stored along with fat.
Water Soluble Vitamins
Some vitamins are water soluble and hence cannot be stored in the body, thus their in take is required continuously