Types of Vitamins & Sources

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There are two types of Vitamins Fat-soluble and Water-soluble vitamins.

01-Fat-soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and the liver. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. These are easier to store than water-soluble vitamins, and they can stay in the body as reserves for days, and sometimes months.

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats, or lipids.

02-Water-soluble vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for long. The body cannot store them, and they are soon excreted in urine. Because of this, water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones.

Vitamin C and all the B vitamins are water soluble.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamin A

Chemical names: Retinol, retinal, and four carotenoids, including beta carotene.

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause night-blindness and keratomalacia, an eye disorder that results in a dry cornea.
  • Good sources include: Liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, butter, kale, spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, some cheeses, egg, apricot, cantaloupe melon, and milk.

Vitamin B

Chemical name: thiamine.

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Good sources include: yeast, pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole-grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver, and eggs.

Vitamin B2

Chemical name: Riboflavin

  • It is water soluble
  • Deficiency may cause ariboflavinosis
  • Good sources include: asparagus, bananas, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, and green beans.

Vitamin B3


Chemical names: Niacin, niacinamide

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause pellagra, with symptoms of diarrhea, dermatitis, and mental disturbance.
  • Good sources include: liver, heart, kidney, chicken, beef, fish (tuna, salmon), milk, eggs, avocados, dates, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, whole-grains, legumes, mushrooms, and brewer’s yeast.

Vitamin B5


Chemical name: Pantothenic acid

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause paresthesia, or “pins and needles.”
  • Good sources include: meats, whole-grains (milling may remove it), broccoli, avocados, royal jelly, and fish ovaries.

Vitamin B6

Chemical names: Pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause anemia, peripheral neuropathy, or damage to parts of the nervous system other than the brain and spinal cord.
  • Good sources include: meats, bananas, whole-grains, vegetables, and nuts. When milk is dried, it loses about half of its B6. Freezing and canning can also reduce content.

Vitamin B7

Chemical name: Biotin

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause dermatitis or enteritis, or inflammation of the intestine.
  • Good sources include: egg yolk, liver, some vegetables.

Vitamin B9


Chemical names: Folic acid, folinic acid

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency during pregnancy is linked to birth defects. Pregnant women are encouraged to supplement folic acid for the entire year before becoming pregnant.
  • Good sources include: leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, baker’s yeast, some fortified grain products, and sunflower seeds. Several fruits have moderate amounts, as does beer.

Vitamin B12

Chemical names: Cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia, a condition where bone marrow produces unusually large, abnormal, immature red blood cells.
  • Good sources include: fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, some fortified cereals and soy products, as well as fortified nutritional yeast.

Vitamin C

Chemical name: Ascorbic acid

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia.
  • Good sources include: fruit and vegetables. The Kakadu plum and the camu camu fruit have the highest vitamin C contents of all foods. Liver also has high levels. Cooking destroys vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Chemical names: Ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol.

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause rickets and osteomalacia, or softening of the bones.
  • Good sources: Exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) through sunlight or other sources causes vitamin D to be produced in the skin. Also found in fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, and mushrooms.

Vitamin E

Chemical names: Tocopherols, tocotrienols

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency is uncommon, but it may cause hemolytic anemia in newborns. This is a condition where blood cells are destroyed and removed from the blood too early.
  • Good sources include: Kiwi fruit, almonds, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oils, wheat germ, and whole-grains.

Vitamin K

Chemical names: Phylloquinone, menaquinones

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause bleeding diathesis, an unusual susceptibility to bleeding.
  • Good sources include: leafy green vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit. Parsley contains a lot of vitamin K.