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Vitamin - Definition


Vitamins are biological substances required by the body so it can function correctly. The human body is generally unable to produce them alone, so it is essential that the diet supplies them. Vitamins are notably involved in healthy growth and maintaining balance of various substances of the body. There are many different types of vitamins, the most important being vitamin A, involved in growth and vision; the various types of vitamin B, enabling a number of reactions that produce (anabolism) or destroy (catabolism) matter; vitamin C, stimulating iron absorption and involved in blood cell synthesis; vitamin D, enabling calcium absorption and binding for strengthening the bones; and vitamin K, which enables the production of certain factors of blood coagulation. Vitamin deficiency is responsible for certain conditions related to the impairment of the functions affected by each specific deficiency. An excess in vitamins, called hypervitaminosis, can also be harmful by causing poisoning.