• vitamin
  • An organic compound present in variable, minute quantities in natural foodstuffs and essential for the normal processes of growth and maintenance of the body.
Abstract from DBPedia
    A vitamin is an organic molecule (or a set of molecules closely related chemically, i.e. vitamers) that is an essential micronutrient that an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the organism, either at all or not in sufficient quantities, and therefore must be obtained through the diet. Vitamin C can be synthesized by some species but not by others; it is not a vitamin in the first instance but is in the second. The term vitamin does not include the three other groups of essential nutrients: minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. Most vitamins are not single molecules, but groups of related molecules called vitamers. For example, there are eight vitamers of vitamin E: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Some sources list fourteen vitamins, by including choline, but major health organizations list thirteen: vitamin A (as all-trans-retinol, all-trans-retinyl-esters, as well as all-trans-beta-carotene and other provitamin A carotenoids), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate), vitamin B12 (cobalamins), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin D (calciferols), vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols), and vitamin K (phylloquinone and menaquinones). Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions. Vitamin A acts as a regulator of cell and tissue growth and differentiation. Vitamin D provides a hormone-like function, regulating mineral metabolism for bones and other organs. The B complex vitamins function as enzyme cofactors (coenzymes) or the precursors for them. Vitamins C and E function as antioxidants. Both deficient and excess intake of a vitamin can potentially cause clinically significant illness, although excess intake of water-soluble vitamins is less likely to do so. All vitamins were discovered (identified) between 1913 and 1948. Historically, when intake of vitamins from diet was lacking, the results were vitamin deficiency diseases. Then, starting in 1935, commercially produced tablets of yeast-extract vitamin B complex and semi-synthetic vitamin C became available. This was followed in the 1950s by the mass production and marketing of vitamin supplements, including multivitamins, to prevent vitamin deficiencies in the general population. Governments have mandated the addition of some vitamins to staple foods such as flour or milk, referred to as food fortification, to prevent deficiencies. Recommendations for folic acid supplementation during pregnancy reduced risk of infant neural tube defects.

    ビタミン(ヴィタミン、ヸタミン; 英語: vitamin)は、生物の生存・生育に微量に必要な栄養素のうち、その生物の体内で十分な量を合成できない炭水化物・タンパク質・脂質以外の有機化合物の総称である(なお栄養素のうち無機物はミネラルである)。 生物種によってビタミンとして働く物質は異なる。たとえばアスコルビン酸はヒトにはビタミン(ビタミンC)だが、多くの生物にはビタミンではない。ヒトのビタミンは13種が認められている。 ビタミンは機能で分類され、物質名ではない。たとえばビタミンAはレチナール、レチノールなどからなる。 ビタミンはほとんどの場合、生体内で十分量合成することができないので、主に食料から摂取される(一部は腸内細菌から供給される)。ビタミンが不足すると、疾病や成長障害が起こりうる(ビタミン欠乏症)。日本では厚生労働省が日本人の食事摂取基準によって各ビタミンの指標を定めており、摂取不足の回避を目的とする3種類の指標と、過剰摂取による健康障害の回避を目的とする指標、および生活習慣病の予防を目的とする指標から構成されている。