The different types of Vitamins

Fish contains Vitamin B12

There are lots of different types of vitamins out there, and each one benefits your body in a different way. For example, Vitamin B12 has said to help increase energy levels, which is why it is included in some supplements such as the Hiprolean X-S Caffeine-Free Fat Burner. It can be found naturally in foods such as fish. Here are a list of some of the other vitamins. To understand them, you will have to understand some of the terms that we refer to when explaining them.


Bioavailability: refers to the rate and extent a nutrient is absorbed and used and is affected by…

  • digestion / GI transit time
  • nutritional status
  • what foods are consumed at the same time
  • preparation: cooked, raw, etc…
  • source: naturally occurring, fortified, synthetic

Precursors: substances that precede others – ie: provitamins are inactive forms of vitamins in some food (which become active in the body after ingestion)

Stability: some vitamins can be easily destroyed if overcooked or exposed to excessive oxygen

Solubility: The rate a solute dissolves in a solvent.

  • Water soluble (hydrophilic): B vitamins and vitamin C
    • found in watery compartments of food
    • moves directly into the blood after being absorbed
    • can travel freely in the blood
    • freely circulate in watery compartments of the body’s cells
    • regulated and excreted when in excess by the liver easily
  • Fat soluble (hydrophobic): Vitamins A, D, E, and K
    • found in fats and oils of food
    • carried through the lymph to the blood
    • many times require proteins for transport in the blood
    • trapped in cells associated with fat
    • less readily excreted – tend to stay in fat storage sites

Toxicity: when consumed in excess amounts, toxic levels of some (mostly fat soluble) vitamins can cause adverse side effects – sometimes life-threatening

Vitamin A

Type: Fat Soluble.

Forms/Names: Beta-carotene or Retinol.

Functions: Vision, reproduction, growth, tissue repair, bone formation, hormone synthesis, antioxidant (in beta-carotene form).

Deficiencies: Night blindness, impaired bone growth, susceptibility to infection, rough skin

Recommended Intakes:

1000g Retinol Equivalents (RE)/day for adult males
800g RE for adult females
1300g RE and 1200g RE for adult females during the 1st and 2nd six months of lactation
375g RE for infants
400g RE for children ages 1-3
500g RE for children ages 4-6
700g RE for children ages 7-10

Toxicity of Retinol: Red Blood Cell damage, abdominal cramps, blurred vision, irritability, bone pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nosebleeds, growth retardation, hair loss, skin rashes, dry skin, liver disease, nausea, vomiting, headache and increased cerebrospinal pressure.

Food Sources: Fortified foods (mostly dairy), liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables, oranges and red fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D

Type: Fat Soluble

Forms / Names: Cholecalciferol, Ergocalciferol

Functions: Calcium and phosphorus metabolism, bone formation, calcium absorption.

Deficiencies: Rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, abnormal growth, joint pain, soft bones, muscle weakness, bony deformities, neuromuscular irritability.

Toxicity: Raised blood calcium, constipation, weight loss, irritability, weakness, nausea, kidney stones, mental retardation, physical retardation, hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, soft tissue calcifications.

Recommended Intakes (with daily sunlight exposure)

200 IU for adults (5 µg) / day
300 IU for infants birth to 6 months / 7.5 µg
400 IU for children ages 1-24 / 10 µg

Food Sources: Fortified milk/dairy, fish, liver, eggs.

Non-Food Sources: Sunlight.

Vitamin E

Type: Fat Soluble

Forms/Names: Tocopherols and Tocotrienols

Functions: Antioxidant, cellular membrane stability, red blood cell protection.

Deficiencies: Muscle wasting, red blood cell damage, hemolytic anemia, hemorrhaging, reproductive failure, neurological abnormalities.

Toxicity: Rare. Possible general discomfort.

Recommended Intakes

New DRIs:
15 mg/day for all adults

Old RDAs:
10 mg/day for adult males
8 mg/day  for adult females

Food Sources: Vegetable and seed oils, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin K

Type: Fat Soluble

Functions: Blood clotting, protein synthesis, blood calcium regulation

Deficiencies: Hemorrhaging

Toxicity: Jaundice

Recommended Intakes:
70-80 µg /day for adult males
60-65 µg /day for adult females
55 µg /day for children ages 15-18
45 µg /day for children ages 11-14
30  µg /day children ages 7-10
20 µg /day children ages4-6
15 µg /day children ages1-3
10 µg /day infants ages six months – one year
5  µg /day infants from birth – six months

Food Sources: Dark green vegetables, liver, cabbage-type vegetables, spinach, broccoli, kale

Non-Food Sources: Intestinal flora – bacterial synthesis in the digestive tract 

Vitamin C

Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Ascorbic Acid

Functions: Antioxidant, collagen synthesis, wound healing, infection resistance, iron absorption

Deficiencies: Anemia, scurvy, depression, infections, bleeding gums, muscle degeneration, poor wound healing, atherosclerotic plaques, capillary hemorrhaging

Toxicity: Nausea, diarrhea, red blood cell damage, nosebleeds, abdominal cramps

Recommended Intakes:

New DRIs:
75 mg for adult women
90 mg for adult men

Old RDAs:
60 mg for adults
75-95 mg for pregnant and lactating women
35-40 mg/day in children, ages 1-3
The requirement in smokers may be increased to 100 mg/day.

Food Sources: Citrus fruits, berries, , papayas, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers and leafy green

Thiamin (B1)

Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Vitamin B1

Functions: Supports appetite, supports nervous system function, participates in enzymatic energy release of carbohydrates

Deficiencies: Beriberi, heart irregularity, edema, mental confusion, central nervous system complications, muscle weakness, impaired growth

Toxicity: Rare. Rapid pulse, weakness, headaches, insomnia, irritability

Recommended Intakes:
0.5 mg / 1000 Kcalories for adults and children
1.0 mg/day minimum
Additional 0.4 mg is suggested for pregnant women

Food Sources: Beef, pork, liver, legumes, fish, poultry, yeast, whole-grain breads, pasta, nuts

Riboflavin (B2)

Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Vitamin B2

Functions: Participates in enzymatic energy release of carbohydrate, fat and protein, promotes vision and skin health

Deficiencies: Eye problems, weakness, sore throat, skin disorders

Toxicity: None known.  Possible interference of other B vitamins.

Recommended Intakes:
1.7 mg/day for adult males
1.3 mg/d for adult females
additional 0.3 mg/d during pregnancy
additional 0.5 mg/d during lactation
0.4 mg/d for infants

Food Sources: Milk/dairy, dark green vegetables, eggs, yogurt, enriched breads/cereals, liver, meat


Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Nicotinic acid, Nicotinamide

Functions: Participates in enzymatic energy release of energy nutrients; promotes health of nerves, skin and digestive system

Deficiencies: Pellagra, dermatitis on body parts exposed to sun, diarrhea, dementia, loss of appetite, weakness, mental confusion, irritability, fatigue

Toxicity: Low blood pressure, skin flushing, headaches, ulcer irritation,  hepatic/liver abnormalities, nausea

Recommended Intakes:
RDAs:   NE =  niacin equivalents
13-19 NE/day for adults
additional 2 NE/day during pregnancy
additional 5 NE/day during lactation
5-6 NE/day for infants
9-13 NE/day for children, ages 1-10

Food Sources: Yeast, meats, eggs, poultry, liver, cereal, legumes, seeds, milk, green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts

Vitamin (B6)

Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Pyridoxine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine

Functions: Fat and protein metabolism, antibody formation, red blood cell formation, involved in converting tryptophan to niacin

Deficiencies: Central nervous system disorders, seizures, dermatitis, angular stomatitis, anemia, muscle weakness, kidney stones

Toxicity: Depression, fatigue. irritability, headaches, can be neurotoxic

Recommended Intakes:
2.0  mg/d for adult males, ages 15+
1.6  mg/d for adult females, ages 15+
2.2 mg/d during pregnancy
2.1 mg/d during lactation
1.7 mg/d for male children, ages 11-14
1.4 mg/d for female children, ages 11-14
1.4 mg/d for children, ages 7-10
1.1 mg/d for children, ages 4-6
1.0 mg/d for children, ages 1-3
0.6 mg/d for infants six months to one year
0.3 mg/d for infants birth to six months

Food Sources: Meats, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, bananas, whole grains


Type: Water Soluble.

Forms/Names: Folic acid, folacin.

Functions: Red blood cell formation, new cell division, protein metabolism.

Deficiencies: Anemia, diarrhea, smooth tongue, depression, heartburn.

Toxicity: Insomnia, irritability, diarrhea, may mask B12 deficiency.

Recommended Intakes:
400g/day for adults
400g/d for adult females of childbearing age *see here
600g/d during pregnancy
500g/d during lactation
150g/d for children ages 11-14 years
100g/d for children ages 7-10 years
75g/d for children 4-6 years
50g/d for children 1-3 years
35g/d for children six months to 1 year
25g/d for infants birth to six months

Food Sources: Green leafy vegetables, liver, legumes, seeds, and enriched breads, cereals, rice, and pasta.

Vitamin (B12)

Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Vitamin B12, Cobalamin

Functions: Red blood cell formation, nervous system maintenance

Deficiencies: Anemia, nerve degeneration, paralysis, smooth tongue, fatigue, dementia, depression

Toxicity: None known

Recommended Intakes:
(Strict vegetarians should consult a physician or RD for B12 supplements)
2.0g/day for adolescents and adults
2.2g/d during pregnancy
2.6g/d during lactation
1.4g/d for children, ages 7-10
1.0g/d for children, ages 4-6
1.0g/d for children, ages 1-3
0.5g/d for infants six months to one year
0.3g/d for infants birth to six months

Food Sources: Found almost exclusively in animal products.
Meats, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, yeast, cheese

Pantothenic Acid

Type: Water Soluble

Functions: Coenzyme in energy metabolism

Deficiencies: Rare. Nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping

Toxicity: Possible diarrhea

Recommended Intakes:
Estimated Safe and Adequate Intake:
4-7 mg/day for adults
4-7 mg/d for children ages 11+ years
4-5 mg/d for children 7-10 years
3-4 mg/d for children 4-6 years
3 mg/d for children six months to 3 years
2 mg/d for infants birth to six months

Food Sources: Widespread in foods


Type: Water Soluble

Forms/Names: Vitamin H and Coenzyme R

Functions: Coenzyme in energy metabolism, glycogen and fat synthesis

Deficiencies: Loss of appetite, nausea, depression, muscle pain, hair thinning, weakness, fatigue, rash, loss of hair, hallucinations

Toxicity: None known

Recommended Intakes:
Estimated Safe and Adequate Intake:
30-100g/day for adults
30g/d for children ages 7-10 years
25g/d for children 4-6 years
20g/d for children 1-3 years
15g/d for children six months to 1 year
10g/d for infants birth to six months

Food Sources: Widespread in foods.

Links for Reference

For a bit more general information about vitamins and there benefits, you may find it beneficial to read this article on livestrong.