Vitamin C may be the most famous vitamin. Tens of thousands of British sailors were dying of the disease scurvy until they began taking limes and other citrus fruit along on voyages. The vitamin C in the citrus prevented the disease. Vitamin C also works as an anti-oxidant and supports the synthesis of collagen, which helps keep the skin healthy and youthful. A good way to get some daily vitamin C is to drink a glass of orange juice with breakfast.
Vitamin D is famous for saving children from the bone disease called rickets. This vitamin was so important to health it was added to milk. All milk products are now enriched with Vitamin D and the disease of rickets has been eradicated. This vitamin is important to maintain strong bones and joints.
Vitamin B became well known when it was discovered to stop the disease beriberi. Vitamin B actually includes a complex of the vitamins thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12) pantothetic acid, choline and biotin. B vitamins help the body to breakdown carbohydrates. Choline is thought to help with fat metabolism. Vegetarians may not get enough of the B vitamins since they don't eat meat, and may want to take a multi-vitamin supplement.
Vitamin A is believed to help your membranes including your eyes. This may be why folklore has said to eat carrots for good eyesight. Carrots have beta-carotene in them, which your body converts to Vitamin A as needed. Vitamin A supports healthy cells, immune function, growth hormone and healing.
Vitamin E is believed to support the heart, skin, hair, muscles, nerves and joints. It is a natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin was discovered when laboratory rats were not given a balanced diet. They were only fed one kind of food at a time. It was found that they could stay alive but could not breed. The missing factor was Vitamin E. It was named after "E" for Eros because a lack of this vitamin caused a lack of the ability to breed. This doesn't mean Vitamin E is an aphrodisiac of any kind. It simply shows that a lack of this important vitamin can cause health problems.
Vitamin K is known for helping blood to clot properly. Some patients receive this vitamin prior to surgery to help with this function. A doctor should always be consulted prior to taking Vitamin K by anyone who is on anti-coagulant medications of any kind.
Medical studies continue to find new vitamin information every year, and new ways in which vitamins contribute to our health. The best way to get vitamins is through a balanced diet. Many people also like to take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral complex just to be sure their diet is not missing any important nutrients.
Monica Nelson writes helpful articles for consumers about a variety of health topics including nutritional supplements, weightloss products, bodybuilding supplements, amino acids, minerals and herbal supplements.