Vitamins are broadly categorized into two classes that include water-soluble and fat-soluble. This classification is based upon their solubility and is further split into sub- categories. Vitamins are compounds, which enable in bringing about improved body functions and metabolisms.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
The fat- soluble vitamins include vitamins A, K, D, and E. These vitamins are soluble only in the lipids, i.e. fats. Excess of these vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body. The excess intake of these vitamins may bring more harm to the body than benefits. Vitamin A is needed for maintaining good skin, vision, and hair. This vitamin is found in cod liver, yellow fruits and vegetables. Vitamin D is stored in the fat tissues of the body and needed for healthy bones and teeth. This is the only vitamin that can be synthesized in the body when exposed to Sunlight. Adequate intake of milk and fish will provide enough of this vitamin.
Vitamin E and K are needed in minimal quantities but are nonetheless important. Vitamin E is needed for good skin and hair and acts as an antioxidant. This vitamin is found in rich amounts in soybeans, safflowers and corn. This vitamin is known to prevent Parkinson’s disease as well as heart attacks. Vitamin K is needed as a clotting factor in case of bleeding and is present in green vegetables.
Water Soluble Vitamins
The water-soluble vitamins are soluble in water and can be consumed in good amounts as the excess is removed from the body. This group consists of the B- complex vitamins and the Vitamin C. The B- complex vitamins are important for maintaining the normal body functions, such as maintaining a good skin, preventing heart diseases, brain disorders and other deficiencies. These vitamins are present in all the fresh green vegetables and grains. Vitamin C, on the other hand, acts as an antioxidant and for increasing the immunity of the body and is found in abundance in citrus fruits.
A deficiency of any of these vitamins will create deficiency disorders and need to be provided from the diet or in the form of supplements.