What is it?
|Essential to life, these thirteen organic compounds perform dozens of vital jobs in the body. Vitamin entered our vocabulary only in 1912, when the first one — thiamin or B1 — was isolated. We now know that some of the devastating diseases of the past — beriberi, rickets, scurvy — were nothing more than acute vitamin deficiencies. To prevent future deficiencies, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences devised RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCES, the daily amounts of the different food nutrients considered adequate for healthy individuals. These figures are updated every five to ten years, the last update being 1989. The book on vitamins is far from complete. Research continues and few scientists doubt that new vitamins, even new roles for existing vitamins, will surface. There are 13 vitamins now known: VITAMIN A, VITAMIN B1, VITAMIN B2 (riboflavin), NIACIN, VITAMIN B6 (pyridoxine), VITAMIN B12 (cobalamin), FOLIC ACID, PANTOTHENIC ACID, BIOTIN, VITAMIN C, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN E, and VITAMIN K. For a detailed description of all of the vitamins, go here.|