The letters assigned to vitamins are sometimes confusing. Some of them were used only for a short time; substances were re-defined, no longer considered as vitamins, or re-classified as belonging to the B-family; while others were never officially recognised at all. Whether genuine vitamins or not, it can be useful to be familiar with the alphabet of vitamins.
A, B-Complex, C, D, E, and Q10 are discussed in separate articles and therefore not included here. They are only mentioned in cases where they have had another appellation in the past. So-called pro-vitamins are not included either. I have not included medical products (drugs) nicknamed as vitamins; however, I will give an example of this in my next article.
A list of all my articles about vitamins and other nutrients are found here.
Adenine is a purine, no longer classified as a vitamin. It is essential for cellular function and protein synthesis. B4 has also been associated with other substances.
Adenylic Acid, no longer classified as a vitamin, is a nucleotide. It plays a role in protein synthesis and energy metabolism.
This is not a vitamin. DMC is a substance synthesised in the Citric acid cycle.
See Vitamin Bt below.
A part of the family of B-vitamins. See B-Vitamins III: Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Inositol.
One of the nine stereoisomers of inositol.
This is a compound young birds need in order to prevent perosis, a deficiency symptom leading to deformed leg bones. It is no a vitamin though; it can be replaced by Manganese and choline. This has no known application to humans.
L-Carnitine, no longer classified as a vitamin, is an amino acid (derivative), which is important for fat metabolism and energy. See further in Co-Enzyme Q10 & Carnitine.
Essential fatty acids, sometimes called EFA, come in two groups: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Read more in Understanding Dietary Fats Part 1 (of 2) and Understanding Dietary Fats Part 2 (of 2).
Now vitamin B2. See B-Vitamins II: Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Cyanocobalamin.
Now vitamin B7. See B-Vitamins III: Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Inositol.
Now classified as a B-vitamin. See B-Vitamins III: Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Inositol. “Vitamin J” has also been associated with other substances.
Vitamin K comes in three forms: K1, which occurs naturally in e.g. green leaves and plants; K2, which can be produced by intestinal bacteria (if your microflora is in good order); and K3, which is synthetic.
Vitamin K is essential for normal blood coagulation and bone health (reducing the risk for osteoporosis), and it probably plays a role in liver health, although more studies are needed about that.
Some natural sources are: green leaves, and all green parts of plants; cabbage; various sprouts; soy, etc.
RDA is 80mg (males) and 65mg (females). Deficiency is rare and for a healthy individual supplementation is hardly needed.
Read also about The Synergy of Vitamin D & Vitamin K2
Two forms are known: L1, Anthranilic Acid; and L2, Adenylthiomethylpentose.
No longer classified as a vitamin, Anthranilic acid plays a role in the protein synthesis. Required for lactation.
Now vitamin B9. See B-Vitamins III: Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Inositol.
This is not a vitamin, but a supplement containing salt water and a little germanium. The manufacturers have claimed that it supplements the bloodstream with oxygen, thereby being an effective treatment for cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. Whether it works or not is a matter of controversy. The manufacturers had to pay $375000 for making a "false health claim."
Bioflavonoids is a collective name for a number of water-soluble pigments. The "P" is derived from "permeability" because they strengthen the capillaries. See Pigments – Bioflavonoids.
Now vitamin B3. See Nicotinic Acid, the Real Super Vitamin!
See Co-Enzyme Q10 & Carnitine.
Including this as an essential nutrient is a matter of scientific dispute, although it is not entirely unfounded to do so. Read more in Salicylic Acid: Is Aspirin a Vitamin?
The healing power of raw cabbage has been known for a long time. It heals ulcers and various inflammations, internally and externally. This is manifested most dramatically in the gastrointestinal area.
In the 1950s, Dr. Garnett Cheney published results of his studies on the use of cabbage juice in the treatment of peptic ulcer. Raw juice was effective, but heated juice was not. Responsible for this was, he claimed, an unidentified substance he called vitamin U.
Interestingly, crushed or chopped cabbage (it must get wet), put externally over an inflamed joint can reduce or eliminate pain and reduce or cure inflammation. It must be tied tight over the joint using a gauze bandage. Apply this over night. Then repeat with fresh cabbage every night for some days or weeks. You will soon notice its effects.
Now called Vitamin E. See Vitamin E - A Powerful Vitamin.
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