Filed under Nutrition

Vitamin C – What Is It?

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid in its reduced form and dehydroascorbic acid in its oxidized form.  Since this vitamin receives and donates electrons, it can act as an antioxidant.  All plants and most animals make ascorbic acid.  Humans cannot make vitamin C, so we must obtain it from our diet. Vitamin C … Continue reading

Vitamin B12 – What Is It?

Vitamin B12 is also known as cyanocobalamin, which is the free vitamin.  It is the largest and most complex of the vitamins.  There are also two coenzymes forms.  The common element in these three compounds is cobalt, hence the “cobal-“ part of the word. Vitamin B12 is absorbed at the very end of the small … Continue reading

Vitamin B9 – Folate – What Is It?

Vitamin B9 is also known as folate or folic acid.  The word “folate” is derived from the Latin word “folium,” meaning “leaf,” because folate is found in dark green, leafy vegetables.  Folate is a water-soluble vitamin that is absorbed in the small intestine.  Between 10-30 mg of folate is stored in the body in the … Continue reading

Vitamin B7 – Biotin – What Is It?

Vitamin B7 is also known as biotin, vitamin H or coenzyme R.  Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that takes part in reactions that add carbon dioxide to compounds.  This vitamin is absorbed in the small intestine and what little is stored in the body is stored in the muscles, liver, and brain.  It is believed that … Continue reading

Vitamin B6 – What Is It?

The generic name for vitamin B6 is pyridoxine.  Vitamin B6 is really a family of three compound groups and the active form of the vitamin is pyridoxal phosphate (PLP).  Vitamin B6 is absorbed in the middle and latter sections of the small intestine and converted in the liver into three forms, mainly PLP.  Not much of … Continue reading

Vitamin B3 – Niacin – What Is It?

Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin.  Niacin is one of 5 vitamins that cause preventable disease worldwide when deficiencies are present (the others are thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D).  Niacin exists as coenzymes in two forms – nicotinic acid (niacin) and nicotinamide (niacinamide).  This complex vitamin is absorbed in the stomach and … Continue reading

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin – What Is It?

Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin.  Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in most animal and plant tissues.  The word “ribo” comes from ribose, which is a sugar, and “flavin” means “yellow.”  Riboflavin is absorbed in the small intestine and what little is stored in the body is stored in the liver, … Continue reading

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin – What Is It?

Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine or thiamin. Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a coenzyme in many metabolic pathways in the body. The word is derived from “thio” meaning sulfur and “amine” meaning nitrogen-containing.  Therefore, the compound contains one sulfur and a few nitrogen atoms.  In today’s language, we’ve dropped the … Continue reading