Related topics: vitamin d

New wearable sensor tracks vitamin C levels in sweat

A team at the University of California San Diego has developed a wearable, non invasive vitamin C sensor that could provide a new, highly personalized option for users to track their daily nutritional intake and dietary adherence. ...

Vitamin B3 revitalizes energy metabolism in muscle disease

An international team of scientists, led by University of Helsinki reported that vitamin B3, niacin, has therapeutic effects in progressive muscle disease. Niacin delayed disease progression in patients with mitochondrial ...

New insights into vitamin A recycling and daytime vision

Many people remember been told as kids when they refused to eat their vegetables that "carrots are good for your eyes." Although parents may not have fully understood it at the time, there is some truth to this. Carrots are ...

Researchers discover giant cavity in key tuberculosis molecule

Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a strange new feature of a protein that's thought to be important in the development of tuberculosis: The protein contains a ...

Controlling vitamin K2 production in the tuberculosis bacteria

A team of New Zealand researchers led by a University of Canterbury (UC) scientist has discovered a novel mechanism of controlling vitamin K2 production in the bacterial pathogen that causes tuberculosis (known as TB or the ...

A new way to create pumpkin spice products, drugs, cosmetics

"Like oil and water" doesn't apply just to personal relationships that aren't working. It also applies to the challenges scientists face when combining spices and other products that conventionally do not mix well in producing ...

'Just clicking' a molecule to a biomolecule for another function

Researchers have reported a material that controls the behavior of cells in a dynamic way, just as happens in biology. A new technique uses functional components that can be 'clicked' to a material using vitamin H. Researchers ...

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Vitamin

A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism. A compound is called a vitamin when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained from the diet. Thus, the term is conditional both on the circumstances and the particular organism. For example, ascorbic acid functions as vitamin C for some animals but not others, and vitamins D and K are required in the human diet only in certain circumstances. The term vitamin does not include other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids, nor does it encompass the large number of other nutrients that promote health but are otherwise required less often.

Vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity, not their structure. Thus, each "vitamin" may refer to several vitamer compounds that all show the biological activity associated with a particular vitamin. Such a set of chemicals are grouped under an alphabetized vitamin "generic descriptor" title, such as "vitamin A," which includes the compounds retinal, retinol, and many carotenoids. Vitamers are often inter-converted in the body.

Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions, including function as hormones (e.g. vitamin D), antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E), and mediators of cell signaling and regulators of cell and tissue growth and differentiation (e.g. vitamin A). The largest number of vitamins (e.g. B complex vitamins) function as precursors for enzyme cofactor bio-molecules (coenzymes), that help act as catalysts and substrates in metabolism. When acting as part of a catalyst, vitamins are bound to enzymes and are called prosthetic groups. For example, biotin is part of enzymes involved in making fatty acids. Vitamins also act as coenzymes to carry chemical groups between enzymes. For example, folic acid carries various forms of carbon group – methyl, formyl and methylene - in the cell. Although these roles in assisting enzyme reactions are vitamins' best-known function, the other vitamin functions are equally important.

Until the 1900s, vitamins were obtained solely through food intake, and changes in diet (which, for example, could occur during a particular growing season) can alter the types and amounts of vitamins ingested. Vitamins have been produced as commodity chemicals and made widely available as inexpensive pills for several decades, allowing supplementation of the dietary intake.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA