The word vitamin is derived from thiamine, which was the first substance to be referred to as such. Thiamine is an amine, which has a vital role for the body in the fight against beriberi.By extension, other substances that play a similar role are also referred to as vitamins.
The vitamins are split into two families: vitamins that are soluble in fats – liposolublevitamins (A,D, E, K) – and vitamins that are soluble in water – hydrosoluble vitamins (B, C). If they are consumed excessively, liposoluble vitaminsaccumulate in the body and can become toxic.
Vitamins are provided in various ingredients and they can also be included in pure form. As naturally fragile substances, sensitive to light, heat and oxidation, vitamins need to be protected during the cooking process.
Each vitamin is involved in several different functions, though to keep things simple we can list their major roles in the body.