The word “vitamin” is derived from two words “vital amine”, conceived by the Polish chemist Casimir Funk in 1912.  While many researchers and scientists were integral towards the understanding of vitamins role in nutritional health, Funk isolated vitamin B1 or thiamine from rice, and determined to be the causal agent in the nutritional deficiency disease beri-beri. From there, Funk identified multiple other “vitamines” that cured many deficiency diseases, such as rickets (lack Vitamin D), pellagra (lack Vitamin B3/niacin), and scurvy (lack Vitamin C).  Vitamins are described as either water-soluble (dissolve easily and readily excreted) or fat-soluble (absorbed with help from fats/lipids and stored in your bodies tissues).

Water Soluble – 9

  1. All B vitamins
    1. B1/Thiamine
    2. B2/Riboflavin
    3. B3/Niacin
    4. B5/Pantothenic Acid
    5. B6/Pyridoxine
    6. B7/Biotin
    7. B9/Folic Acid
    8. B12/Cyanocobalamin
  2. Vitamin C

Fat Soluble – 4

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin E
  4. Vitamin K

Water soluble vitamins need to be readily replenished, while fat soluble vitamins are stored, and can potentially increase over time to dangerous levels (hypervitaminosis), or be deficient if fat intake too low, fat absorption compromised by certain drugs (Orlistat, cholestyramine, mineral oil, laxatives) or certain disease processes (cystic fibrosis) that interfere with absorption.

From the desk of Dr. Michael Bono

About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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