any of a group of organic substances essential in small quantities to normal metabolism
any of several organic chemical substances not synthesized by an animal and required in small quantities for normal metabolism, present in and obtained from the natural foods eaten by the animal. Human vitamins are also produced synthetically, and taken in pure form or in mixtures, as dietary supplements. Deficiencies of specific vitamins lead to certain specific disorders, such as scurvy, caused by an insufficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Most vitamins act as coenzymes or precursors to coenzymes, and are not consumed for energy production or incorporated into structural units of the cell.
Any of a specific group of organic compounds essential in small quantities for healthy human growth, metabolism, development, and body function; found in minute amounts in plant and animal foods or sometimes produced synthetically; deficiencies of specific vitamins produce specific disorders.
Origin: 1920, originally vitamine (1912), from vita (see vital) + amine (see amino acid). Vitamine coined by Polish biochemist after the initial discovery of aberic acid (thiamine), when it was thought that all such nutrients would be amines. The term had become ubiquitous by the time it was discovered that vitamin C, among others, had no amine component. In 1920, British biochemist proposed that the final -e be dropped to deemphasize the amine reference. The ending -in was acceptable because it was used for neutral substances of undefined composition. Drummond introduced the lettering system of nomenclature (Vitamin A, B, C, etc.) also at this same time.
A vitamin is an organic compound required by an organism as a vital nutrient in limited amounts. An organic chemical 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 on the particular organism. For example, ascorbic acid is a vitamin for humans, but not for most other animals, and biotin and vitamin D are required in the human diet only in certain circumstances. By convention, the term vitamin includes neither other essential nutrients, such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids nor the large number of other nutrients that promote health but are otherwise required less often. Thirteen vitamins are universally recognized at present. Vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity, not their structure. Thus, each "vitamin" refers to a number of vitamer compounds that all show the biological activity associated with a particular vitamin. Such a set of chemicals is grouped under an alphabetized vitamin "generic descriptor" title, such as "vitamin A", which includes the compounds retinal, retinol, and four known carotenoids. Vitamers by definition are convertible to the active form of the vitamin in the body, and are sometimes inter-convertible to one another, as well.
British National Corpus
Rank popularity for the word 'vitamin' in Nouns Frequency: #2538
The numerical value of vitamin in Chaldean Numerology is: 4
The numerical value of vitamin in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7
Images & Illustrations of vitamin
Translations for vitamin
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- vitaminaCatalan, Valencian
- vitamínico, vitaminaSpanish
- vitamina, vitamínicoGalician
- vítamín, fjörefniIcelandic
- vitaminNorwegian Nynorsk
- vitamin, sinh tốVietnamese
Get even more translations for vitamin »
Find a translation for the vitamin definition in other languages:
Select another language: