Vitamins – a group of organic chemical compounds of various structure, necessary for the proper functioning of the living organism. They may be of natural origin or obtained synthetically. For man, vitamins are exogenous (the human body does not synthesize them), so they must be supplied with food (usually in the form of provitamins). Anti-Vitamines have opposite effects to vitamins.
The lack of a specific vitamin in the body is avitaminosis, deficiency – hypovitaminosis, and excess – hypervitaminosis.
The first discovered vitamin (B1) was separated by the Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funkek in 1913. He also introduced the name of this group of compounds (Latin vitae – ‘life’ and amine – vitamin B1 contained an amino group).
Due to their solubility, they are divided into fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and soluble in water (vitamins B and C)