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A vitamin is an organic micronutrient which is required in the diet on an ongoing basis. Some vitamins can be synthesized in the body, but not always in the amounts required (1) (2) (3). Some vitamins require coenzymes to be fully functional.


Water-soluble vitamins are those that can be dissolved in water. One major category of water-soluble vitamins are the members of the vitamin B complex. Another important water-soluble vitamin is vitamin C, which has some wonderous antioxidant effects.


  • Identity thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxin, cobalamin, folacin, biotin and pantothenate as members of the vitamin B complex
  • Define coenzymes and provide examples
  • Identify the biochemical functions of the B vitamins as key parts of coenzymes for specific enzymes in metabolism
  • Summarize the biochemical and metabolic involvement of thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B), niacin (B3) and pantothenate (B5)
  • recognize common presentations of thiamin deficiency
  • identify niacin deficiency as causing classical pellagra, a disease triad of dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia
  • associate niacin deficiency as often occurring with dietary protein deficiency
  • identify a distinct therapeutic role for nicotinic acid in patients with hyperlipidemia
  • summarize the biochemical metabolic and antioxidant properties of vitamin C
  • summarize the role of vitamin C in braising and blood vessel fragility


Lipid-soluble vitamins are those that can be dissolved in fat. Some important lipid-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, K, D and E.