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Vitamins can be defined as organic substance that must be provided in small quantities in the diet because they are not synthesized in the body of their rate of synthesis is inadequate for the maintenance of the health.

Classification of vitamins

Fat soluble vitamins
➢ Vitamin A (A1 and A2)
➢ Vitamin D (D1 and D2 )
➢ Vitamin E
➢ Vitamin K (K1, K2, and K3)

Water soluble vitamins
1. Vitamin B complex
➢ Thiamine (vit-B1)
➢ Riboflavin (vit-B2)
➢ Nicotinic acid: nicotinamide (vit-
➢ Pyridoxine (vit-B6)
➢ Pantothenic acid (vit-B5 )
➢ Biotin (vit-H)
➢ Cyanocobalamin (vit-B12 )
➢ Folic acid (vit-B9)
2.Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin A

It is essential for formation of light sensitive pigments in photoreceptor of retina. Beta carotene (provitamin of vitamin A, that naturally grow in vegetables) act as an antioxidant.

Vitamin A exits in two forms:
Animal food: As retinol
Vegetables: As β carotene

Vit-A1: retinol
Vit-A2: dehydro-retinol

Functions of vitamin A:
➢ Maintain normal epithelia
➢ Form retinal photochemical (rhodopsin)
➢ Anti-infective; enhance immune function
➢ Anti-carcinogenic

➢ Acne ( retin A cream)
➢ Psoriasis
➢ Darier’s disease

Vitamin D

➢Vitamin D is pro-hormone.
➢It is a member of steroid derivatives.
➢The main precursor substance of vitamin D is cholesterol.

Vitamin D exists in two forms:
➢ Vit-D2 (ergocalciferol): plant origin.
➢ Vit-D3 (cholecalciferol): animal origin
Generated in the skin by photo-activation (u-v irradiation) of 7-dehydrocholestrol

Function of vitamin D

➢Calcitriol {1, 25-(OH)² D³} is the main active
metabolites of vitamin D.
➢There are three principle sites of action of vitamin D
(1) intestine
(2) kidney
(3) bone
It maintains the calcium homeostasis in the body.

➢Intestine increased→Ca++& PO4 absorption by calcitriol.
➢Kidney decreased→calcium and phosphate excretion by 25 (OH) D3 and 1, 25(OH)2D3.
➢Bone increased→ calcium and phosphate excretion resorption by 1, 25-(OH)2D3.
➢Bone Formation→may be increased by 24, 25-(OH)2D3.

➢ Prevention and treatment of rickets
➢ Osteomalacia and osteoporosis
➢ Psoriasis
➢ Treatment of hypocalcaemia
➢ Muscle weakness and bone pain

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a term used to refer to eight molecules, which are divided into two categories: tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E supplements almost always contain α-tocopherol.

➢ Sterility
➢ Recent abortion
➢ Progressive muscular dystrophy
➢ Cardiovascular disease
➢ Habitual abortion
➢ Pregnancy and lactation
➢ Antioxidant
➢ Enzymatic activity regulator
➢ Inhibit platelet coagulation
➢ Plays important role in eye and neurological function

Vitamin K

➢ Acts as coenzymes that are essential for synthesis of several clotting factor by
liver including prothrombin.
➢ Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin.

Types of vitamin-K
Vitamin-K1: phytomenadione (found in food)
Vitamin- K2: menaquinones (synthesized by intestinal flora)
Vitamin-K3: menadione

➢ Warfarin overdose
➢ Chronic liver disease
➢ Obstructive jaundice
➢ Premature infants

➢ Liver disease
➢ Hypo-prothrombinemia
➢ Hematuria and clotting factor deficiency

Vitamin B complex

Vit- B1 (thiamine)

➢ Infantile beriberi
➢ Alcoholic neuritis
➢ Polyneuritis after infections disease
➢ Wenicke-korsakoff syndrome
➢ Anorexia nervosa
➢ Neuritis of pregnancy
➢ Chronic diarrhea
➢ Gastrointestinal hypotonia

Vit-B2 (riboflavin)

➢ Glossitis
➢ Cheilosis
➢ Angular stomatitis
➢ Sore throat
➢ Seborrheic dermatitis
➢ Photophobia
➢ Anemia
➢ Neuropathy

Vit-B3 (niacin)

➢ For prophylaxis and treatment of pellagra
➢ Hyper-cholesterolemia
➢ Hyper-triglyceridemia
➢ Vincent’s infections

Vit-B6 (pyridoxine)

➢ INH induces peripheral neuritis
➢ Pregnancy radiation sickness
➢ Idiopathic sideroblastic anemia
➢ Convulsion in infants

Vit-B12 (cyanocobalamin)

➢ Pernicious anemia
➢ Trigeminal neuralgia
➢ Neuropathy
➢ Macrocytic anemia
➢ Tropical sprue
➢ Alcoholism
➢ Chronic impairment of liver

parenchyma Folic acid

Megaloblastic anemia
➢ Malabsorption syndrome
➢ Tropical sprue


Promotes protein synthesis including laying down of collagen in formation of connective tissue. It works with antibodies and promotes wound healing.

Sources of vitamin C:
➢ Amlaki
➢ Guavas
➢ Cabbage
➢ Tomato
➢ Cauliflower

➢ Prevention and treatment of scurvy
➢ Treatment of wound and infections
➢ Urinary acidification
➢ Coryza

Side effects:
➢ Anemia
➢ Retardation of growth