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What are the principal functions of vitamins and why are they essential to life and health?…

What are the principal functions of vitamins and why are they essential to life and health?…

Sample Answer 

What are the principal functions of vitamins and why are they essential to life and health?…

The Principal Functions of Vitamins

Unlike proteins, carbohydrates, and fatty acids, which are the primary active sources of energy and elements used in building the body, and thereby, needed in large quantities, vitamins are the essential elements required in small quantities. According to Nix (2017), the discovery of vitamins was mistakenly achieved by scientists while searching for treatment for classic illnesses that were thought to be linked with dietary deficiencies. Vitamin C was among the first types of vitamins discovered by Dr Lind, who revealed that it cured scurvies. Since then, more vitamins have been discovered with new functions. Their intake has primary nutritional value.

For example, vitamins are co-enzymes that form an important part of enzymes – which are catalysts that speed up or catalyze metabolic reactions but are not consumed in the reaction. For instance, vitamin B components (such as riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin) are often used as co-enzymes, which are, in turn, fundamental components of enzymes used in the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose to release ATP energy. Secondly, vitamins are involved in bone building and the formation of tissue structures. An excellent example is vitamin C, which is used during the production of collagen – a protective structural protein present in the bones, ligaments, and skin. More so, vitamins (such as E, C, and A) often act as anti-oxidants, meaning that they are able to defend cell structures from the destruction caused by the toxicity of free radicals. Finally, and most importantly, vitamins are used in the prevention and treatment of nutritional deficiency disorders. For example, scurvy (a hemorrhagic disorder typified by bleeding in tissues, joints, and destruction of capillaries) is a characteristic of the absence of vitamin C and can be treated by taking supplements of the vitamin.

Regarding the type of vitamins that are essential for our bodies, I think vitamin D is irreplaceable, and we cannot survive without it. In fact, there is a general consensus that vitamin D is more of a hormone than a vitamin. Low vitamin D levels are associated with symptoms like low energy, fatigue, muscle pain, hair loss, back and bone pain, impaired wound healing, and so on. Over the years, several studies have also proved that a deficiency of this vitamin can cause dementia, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as aggressive prostate cancer (Meehan & Penckofer, 2014).


Meehan, M., & Penckofer, S. (2014). The role of vitamin D in the aging adult. Journal of Aging Gerontology, 2(2), 60-71.

Nix, S. (2017). William’s basic nutrition and diet therapy. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier, Inc.


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What are the principal functions of vitamins and why are they essential to life and health?…

What are the principal functions of vitamins and why are they essential to life and health? In your opinion, which vitamins are the most important and why? Use the material in the text and lecture to support your response. Use proper APA citation.

What are the principal functions of ...

What are the principal functions of …

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