Why is there vitamin K? But no vitamin F?

Vitamin C for colds? A good amount of vitamin D on a sunny day? We all know that vitamins are important for our health. But how did these vitamins get their names? And more importantly, When were vitamins first discovered?

Before taking vitamins

Although humans have always understood that food and health are connected, But modern nutrition research, supported by advances in chemistry, physics and biology, took thousands of years to emerge. Early nutrition trials focused on nitrogen. It was first discovered in 1772 and whether its presence or absence in food makes animals or humans healthy or sick.

Then, in 1839, Dutch chemist Gerardus Mulder proposed the existence of a molecule he called a protein. It was an animal substance that he considered essential to human nutrition. Historian Kenneth Carpenter has been writing for decades that Protein is considered the only nutrient for human health. This is despite new knowledge that fruits, vegetables and milk can help alleviate conditions such as scurvy and rickets. Although these afflictions are common among people with dietary restrictions, But researchers still blame other factors, such as infection and contaminated food. or even the air at sea


Meanwhile Sailors on long journeys suffer from beriberi, which can cause heart failure and loss of sensation in the legs and feet.

Japanese navy doctor Kanehiro Takagi had a theory that in the 1880s he noticed that poor civilians were more likely to suffer from beriberi than wealthier civilians. and suspect that their diet and lack of protein may have played a role.

Meanwhile, Dutch Army doctor Christian Eijkman developed his own theory about beriberi after experimenting with chickens. Chickens that ate the white rice common to the Japanese navy had similar symptoms. On the other hand, poultry that ate brown rice provided by cooks who refused to give military rice to civilian chickens remained healthy.

Eijkman conducts that line of research. It was found that the prison population that was fed white rice also developed beriberi. Are white tables a big part of the problem?

Vitamins for health

Polish chemist Casimir Funk polished processed rice to the hull and zero bran. and began experimenting with pigeons himself in the early 20’s.Thai Century: Pigeons fed only white rice become sick. But it gets better when fed with rice bran and yeast. This finding confirms Takakis’ theory that food intake and numbness are linked. But the culprit isn’t a lack of protein. It was a deficiency of another substance, Funk theorized in 1912: a nitrogen-containing compound he called vitamin E. It combines the Latin word for life with amine. which is the name of a compound that contains nitrogen.

The discovery of the vitamin sent shockwaves through the scientific community. By suggesting that various diseases May be caused by nutritional deficiency And it can be cured with sufficient amounts of the newly discovered compound. Funk declares that monotonous diets should be avoided.

Researchers rushed to isolate other micronutrients. related to diseases such as rickets scurvy, goiter, etc. Around the time Punk coined the term vitamin E, American nutritional scientist Elmer McCullum was experimenting with various animal foods. with various animal populations and discovered that supplements contained in certain types of fat were necessary for the growth of mice. A fat-soluble substance called vitamin A is an accessory.

McCollum and others conducted further experiments with the Funks rice bran nutrient, naming vitamin B after beriberi. Eventually, it turned out that the substance, called vitamin B, is actually a vitamin complex consisting of eight water-soluble vitamins, which Each has a specific name, such as thiamine, and is numbered in order of discovery.

The e used in Funks’ new vocabulary was eventually dropped after scientists realized that some compounds were not nitrogen-containing amines. But the tradition of naming vitamins alphabetically in order of discovery continues. Today, there are four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and nine water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and 8 types of vitamin B) [thiamin]B2 [riboflavin]B3 [niacin]B5 [pantothenic acid]B6 [pyridoxine]B7 [biotin]B9 [folate]and B12 [cobalamin]It is considered essential for human growth and health.


Only one vitamin defies reasonable nomenclature: vitamin K. Discovered by Danish researcher Carl Peter Henrik Dam in 1929, this substance is probably on the line to be called vitamin K. Vitamin F when discovered But Dams’ research has revealed that the vitamin is essential for blood clotting, called hemoglobinopathies. Erection In the German journal that published his research, the abbreviation for the vitamin was stuck.

It has been decades since the last essential vitamin B12 was discovered in 1948. Since then, Researchers have focused on substances that have health benefits. By learning more about the link between vitamin deficiency and disease. and is used to treat conditions such as pellagra and anemia. However, it seems unlikely that scientists will ever discover a new essential vitamin.

Even though there are no vitamins F or G in our future, that doesn’t mean nutritional discovery has to stop. In fact Nutrition research is more advanced than ever. This allows scientists to delve into the secrets of how even small amounts of micronutrients affect human health. If the Golden Age of Vitamin Discovery were an appetizer, Scientists are also studying major courses which are rapidly evolving our understanding of how food shapes our lives. It is a single microscopic substance at a time.

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Image Source : www.nationalgeographic.com

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