Vitamins and minerals - names and facts

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins are essential trace nutrients that the body cannot manufacture itself in sufficient quantities to meet demand and therefore must absorb the required nutrients from food sources. Vitamins differ from minerals because they are compounds or molecules, whereas minerals are elements.

The following table lists the proper chemical names for common vitamins and co-enzymes, however some of the old names are of substances no longer considered to be vitamins but have been included anyway to make the list complete. The list also includes diseases commonly associated with a deficiency of a vitamin in the diet, and also lists good sources of vitamins in food.


Vitamin Technical Name Deficiency Disease Good Sources
ARetinol, Beta-carotenenight blindness, rough skin, impaired bone growthmilk, butter, cheese, egg, liver, fish, vegetables
B1Thiamine, Aneurine
(first vitamin discovered in 1912)
Beriberi, Korsakov's syndromeseeds, grain, yeast
B2, GRiboflavin, LactoflavinAriboflavinosis, skin disordersliver, milk, cheese, eggs, green leafy veg, pulses, yeast
B3Nicotinamide, NiacinPellagra 
B4Adenine (no longer a vitamin)  
B5Pantotheric acid  
B6Pyridoxine, Pyridoxaldermatitis, neurological disordersliver, meats, fruit, cereals, leafy veg
B7, H, IBiotindermatitisliver, kidney, yeast extract
B8, B9, MFolic acid, Folateanaemialiver, green leafy vegetables, peanuts
B10, Rp-aminobenzoic acid, PABA  
B11, SL-carnitine (no longer a vitamin)  
B12Cobalamine, DibencozidePernicious anaemia, neurological disturbanceliver, kidney, milk
B13Orotic acid (no longer a vitamin)  
B15Pangamic acid, Dimethylglycine  
CAscorbic acid, hygnoseScurvyblackcurrants, citrus fruits, other fruit, green vegetables
DCholecalciferol, CalciferolRicketts, osteomalaciaegg yolk, liver, fatty fish
ETocopherolimpaired fat absorptionvegetable oils
FEssential fatty acids, Linoleic acid
(no longer a vitamin)
KMenadione, Prothromin factor,
haemorrhagic problemsleafy veg
PBioflavonoids, Citrus factor  
(no longer a vitamin)

Click on the following for a list of minerals

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