An ABC of Vitamins

Liz Harvey -


The word "vitamin" was  invented in 1912 by Dr Casimir Funk, to describe a compound, originally thought to be an amino acid, which prevented the onset of beriberi disease. 'Vita' means life, so the term means literally 'amine of life'. We now know that many vitamins are not in fact amines, but have a variety of complex structures. However, the name has been retained.

This website gives an overview of the main vitamins required by higher organisms in order to survive. It summarizes their structures, roles in the human body, and the diseases which can result from a deficiency of that particular vitamin. I decided to carry out a project on this topic since the role of vitamins has always been absent from required work and exams, and I wanted to know a bit more about them.