Info vitamins


“Vitamin = amine of life”: with this name the Polish scientist Casimir Funk identified, in 1912, a new organic compound essential to human life. Shortly thereafter, new vitamins were identified, up to 13 still known today.

Starting from the 1930s, man began to reproduce vitamins of synthetic origin in the laboratory, completely similar to those present in nature (in this regard, read also: Vitamins between Past and Present).

This class of substances, essential to life, falls into the category of micronutrients.

In fact, very small quantities of vitamins are needed (in the order of milligrams or even micrograms) to satisfy the biological demands of the organism. However, although some of them are produced autonomously by our body, most of the vitamins must necessarily be introduced through food.

The quantities produced are in fact negligible and generally insufficient to cover the real needs of the organism; plants, on the other hand, are able to produce them independently and it is for this reason that foods of plant origin represent the most important vitamin resource for humans.


Did you know that not all vitamins are essential for the life of animals, as some of them are able to produce them independently? This is the case, for example, with vitamin C which is not essential for cows.

We also reiterate that some vitamins – such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin PP or niacin and vitamin B9 or folic acid – derive from other substances called provitamins. These are transformed into their active form by the organism itself following their ingestion.
For further information: Provitamins: what and what they are

Types and Classification

What Vitamins Are Currently Known And How Are They Classified?As mentioned, there are 13 vitamins currently known.They differ in their chemical structure, functions and properties, but they certainly all play fundamental roles within the organism.

Given the heterogeneity of structure and functions, vitamins are classified into two macro-groups: that of water-soluble vitamins and that of fat-soluble vitamins. Naturally, a similar subdivision derives from their different degree of solubility in fats (fat-soluble vitamins) and in water (water-soluble vitamins).

Fat-soluble vitamins

They belong to this group:

  • Vitamin A or retinol;
  • Vitamin D or calciferol;
  • Vitamin E or tocopherol;
  • Vitamin K.

Water-soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitaminsInstead, they belong to this group:

  • Vitamins of group B:
  • Vitamin B1 or thiamine;
  • Vitamin B2 or riboflavin;
  • Vitamin B3 or PP and niacin;
  • Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid;
  • Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine;
  • Vitamin B8 or H or biotin;
  • Vitamin B9 or folic acid;
  • Vitamin B12 or cobalamin.
  • Vitamin C or ascorbic acid.