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Vitamins are essential compounds that must be consumed in the diet because the body (in most cases) is unable to synthesise them for itself. Vitamins have specific characteristics which include.

  • They are organic and unlike minerals can be readily destroyed.
  • They are essential. Major complications can occur if there is a vitamin deficiency which can even be fatal.
  • Vitamins generally work individually in a particular aspect of metabolism.
  • Vitamins are present in food in small amounts.
  • Vitamins are needed by the body in small amounts.  Excessive amounts (in some cases can be harmful.


The table illustrated displays some of the vitamins that we need, where they can be obtained, their function and what may occur if we become deficient.


Click on the diagram to display the vitamin table