Vitamins

Vitamins are required in the diet because they are not adequately synthesized in the human body; however, only very small amounts are necessary to catalyze essential biochemical reactions. Diseases can cause vitamin deficiency, and vitamin deficiency or excess can cause disease. Most vitamin deficiencies are rare in healthy persons in the U.S., with the exception of vitamins B12 and D. Disease states generally result from poor diet. Therapeutic doses of certain vitamins can be used to manage some diseases (eg, vitamin D for osteoporosis and pyridoxine for treatment of nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy).

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Last Update: December 2018