The Functions of Vitamins: What Do Vitamins Do?

Vitamins are essential nutrients for life. Without them, our bodies couldn’t maintain the balance we need to stay healthy. As such, vitamins serve different functions which regulate our health and wellness. Some may activate immune defences while others harden and strengthen our bones, to name just a couple.

In this guide, we’ll examine vitamins’ most important functions and benefits. For example, did you know that you need vitamin D to have strong bones? And are you aware of vitamin A’s importance for your skin? By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be a full-fledged vitamin expert, so don’t miss out!

Key Ideas

  • Vitamins have all sorts of functions and benefits in the body. Examples include strengthening immune defences, helping us obtain energy from food, and protecting our organs from stress and damage.
  • When we don’t get enough vitamins, our bodies cannot properly perform these crucial functions and our health suffers.
  • Balanced nutrition is considered the ideal way to meet the body’s vitamin requirements. When that’s not an option, however, we can instead rely on nutritional supplements like Sundt liposomal multivitamins.

Vitamins and Their Functions: What You Need to Know

Vitamins are critical nutrients for life which have “regulating and activating” effects. In other words, they allow various chemical reactions required for life to take place. If you’re curious about different vitamins’ functions and benefits, take a look at this table (1, 2)!

VitaminFunctions
AEyesight. Required for the eyes to function properly.
Antioxidant. Fights premature aging.
Skin. Keeps skin in good condition.
Immune defences. Required to fight off infection.
B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7Metabolism. Produces energy, cells, and hormones.
Brain. Maintains nervous system health.
Skin. Protects both skin and blood vessels.
Growth. Involved in cell growth.
B9 (ácido fólico)Development. Allows the body to grow and develop.
Brain. Maintains healthy neurons.
B12Growth. Key role in creating and developing new cells.
Brain. Keeps brain and nerve tissue healthy.
Metabolism. Required to create energy
CAntioxidant. Fights free radicals’ effects and premature aging.
Skin. Helps produce collagen, a necessary protein for skin and blood vessels.
Immune defences. Helps defend against infection.
Metabolism. Allows the body to use the nutrients in food.
DMetabolism. Allows the body to absorb calcium.
Immune defences. Keeps the immune system on “alert”.
Growth. Helps develop bones and joints.
EAntioxidant. Prevents damage caused by free radicals.
Brain. Protects brain cells and helps the nervous system function properly.
KImmune defences. Regulates the body’s defences.
Skin. Involved in healing cuts and wounds.
Metabolism. Helps keep bones strong and heart healthy.
Antioxidant. Inhibits premature aging.

What Does Vitamin A Do?

Vitamin A lends your skin a glowing, youthful appearance. But this vitamin also helps your insides stay healthy, preserving healthy eyesight and strengthening your body’s defences(3).

To maintain adequate vitamin A levels, you can eat animal products (especially organ meats like liver). If you’re vegan, you can instead rely on red and orange fruits and vegetables, like carrots. Fortunately, those foods contain beta carotene, a molecule which your body can convert to vitamin A (4).

What Do B Vitamins Do?

B vitamins are a wide-ranging group of substances which help your body absorb and use the nutrients in your food. Thanks to them, your body can grow and stay healthy inside and out. If you want to prevent anaemia or have healthy, beautiful hair, you’ll need B vitamins (5).

Within this group, vitamin B9 (better known as folic acid) and vitamin B12 have particularly relevant functions. These nutrients are essential for healthy brains and for babies’ development in the womb (6).

A balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and animal products is certainly the best weapon when it comes to preventing B vitamin deficiencies. However, keep in mind that vitamin B12 is exclusively found in animal products (4). If you’re vegan and you don’t want low B12 levels, you’ll have to rely on supplements.

Vitamins perform a wide variety of functions in our bodies. (Source: Mandic: 103722369/ 123rf.com)

What Does Vitamin C Do?

Vitamin C: the antioxidant par excellence. This nutrient, also called ascorbic acid, is a vitamin with anti-aging properties. These effects apply to our skin, but can also maintain healthy blood vessels. They prevent cholesterol buildup and atherosclerosis (7, 8).

Which foods have the highest vitamin C content? If you associate vitamin C with citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and tangerines, you’re not too far off the mark. However, tropical fruits like acerola and camu camu wildly outdo citrus’s antioxidant content (4).

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D’s various functions include maintaining healthy bones. This nutrient also impacts the strength of our immune defences (9).

Vitamin D can be found in milk, eggs, organ meat, and fish, to give just a few examples. However, your body is also capable of producing its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to the sun (4). Spend a few minutes in the sun every day – but of course, don’t neglect sunscreen!

When we don’t get enough vitamins, our bodies cannot properly perform crucial functions and our health suffers. (Source: Shaw: lzri5kler7y/ Unsplash.com)

What Does Vitamin E Do?

Like vitamin C, vitamin E has antioxidant effects which shield us from premature aging. Plus, it may protect your neurons and help your memory stay sharp as an adult (10).

You can find vitamin E in a variety of foods: nuts, fish, sunflower oil, olive oil, and soybean oil (4).

What Does Vitamin K Do?

Vitamin K’s most important function is blood clotting. In other words, this nutrient stops excessive bleeding and helps injuries heal. It can also keep bones stronger and keep your immune defences “alert” against external threats (11).

Leafy green vegetables like spinach are quite high in vitamin K. However, a particular type of vitamin K with potential antioxidant effects also exists: vitamin K2. K2 is found near exclusively in fermented foods like miso, tempeh, and kimchi (4).

If your diet doesn’t provide the nutrients you need, don’t just sit back and accept vitamin deficiencies. (Source: Preez: mkjuozpy70i/ unsplash.com)

How Can I Get the Benefits of Vitamins?

Enjoying the positive effects of all these vitamins is simple! By following this advice, you’ll easily manage to meet your vitamin requirements and get their biggest benefits and effects (12).

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Your diet should include fresh produce, lean meat (not fatty cuts), and whole grains. The Mediterranean diet is one fantastic example of balanced eating habits (13).
  2. Say no to drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. Drugs often “rob” vitamins from the body, giving rise to dangerous deficiencies.
  3. Exercise outdoors. You’ll be helping your body satisfy its vitamin D requirements.
  4. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, consider taking supplements. People who don’t eat animal products often have elevated risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. If this applies to you, ask your doctor about the possibility of taking supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
  5. Listen to your doctor. When we’re not healthy, it becomes very difficult to maintain healthy vitamin levels. As such, it’s essential to attend your doctor’s appointments and follow prescribed treatments. Your health will certainly thank you!

Sundt Multivitamins: How Liposomal Vitamins Maximise Potency

Sadly, stressful lifestyles and unhealthy diets can cause your nutrient reserves to drop. If you’re in this situation, a vitamin supplement like Sundt liposomal multivitamins could help your body regain balance.

Sundt multivitamins contain a mix of vitamins intended to alleviate nutritional deficiencies in healthy adults. Plus, their liposomal formula leads to improved absorption, maximising vitamins’ potency and effects. Have you tried liposomal products before?

Our Conclusions

Vitamins have countless different functions and benefits. What they all have in common is their goal of keeping us healthy. It’s important to make an effort and maintain a healthy lifestyle which provides enough nutrients. Your skin, bones, brain, and immune system will all thank you for it!

If your diet doesn’t provide all the nutrients you need, however, don’t just sit back and accept vitamin deficiencies. Talk to your doctor about whether you could try a nutritional supplement. Products like Sundt liposomal multivitamins help get the most out of vitamins and their benefits.

Did this guide help you learn something about vitamins’ function? If so, feel free to leave us a comment. If you enjoyed this article, give it a share!

References (13)

1. Chawla J, Kvarnberg D. Hydrosoluble vitamins. In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Elsevier B.V.; 2014. p. 891–914.
Source

2. Albahrani AA, Greaves RF. Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement. Clin Biochem Rev . 2016 Feb ;37(1):27–47.
Source

3. Chea EP, Milstein H. Vitamin A . StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2020 .
Source

4. Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (USDA). FoodData Central . FoodData Central. 2019. p. fdc.nal.usda.gov.
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5. Lykstad J, Sharma S. Biochemistry, Water Soluble Vitamins . StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2019
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6. Brito A, Hertrampf E, Olivares M, Gaitán D, Sánchez H, Allen LH, et al. Folatos y vitamina B12 en la salud humana. Rev Med Chil . 2012 Nov ;140(11):1464–75.
Source

7. Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview. Vol. 28, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. Springer; 2013. p. 314–28.
Source

8. Moser M, Chun O. Vitamin C and Heart Health: A Review Based on Findings from Epidemiologic Studies. Int J Mol Sci . 2016 Aug 12 ;17(8):1328.
Source

9. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin . Vol. 3, Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. Wolters Kluwer — Medknow Publications; 2012. p. 118–26.
Source

10. Rizvi S, Raza ST, Ahmed F, Ahmad A, Abbas S, Mahdi F. The role of Vitamin E in human health and some diseases . Vol. 14, Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. Sultan Qaboos University; 2014 . p. e157.
Source

11. DiNicolantonio JJ, Bhutani J, O’Keefe JH. The health benefits of Vitamin K . Vol. 2, Open Heart. BMJ Publishing Group; 2015. p. e000300
Source

12. Vitaminas: ¿Cuáles son los mejores suplementos del 2020?.
Source

13. Dieta mediterránea: ¿Qué es y cómo sacarle el mayor provecho
Source

Scientific Article
Chawla J, Kvarnberg D. Hydrosoluble vitamins. In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Elsevier B.V.; 2014. p. 891–914.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Albahrani AA, Greaves RF. Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement. Clin Biochem Rev . 2016 Feb ;37(1):27–47.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Chea EP, Milstein H. Vitamin A . StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2020 .
Go to source
Official Website
Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (USDA). FoodData Central . FoodData Central. 2019. p. fdc.nal.usda.gov.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Lykstad J, Sharma S. Biochemistry, Water Soluble Vitamins . StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2019
Go to source
Scientific Article
Brito A, Hertrampf E, Olivares M, Gaitán D, Sánchez H, Allen LH, et al. Folatos y vitamina B12 en la salud humana. Rev Med Chil . 2012 Nov ;140(11):1464–75.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview. Vol. 28, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. Springer; 2013. p. 314–28.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Moser M, Chun O. Vitamin C and Heart Health: A Review Based on Findings from Epidemiologic Studies. Int J Mol Sci . 2016 Aug 12 ;17(8):1328.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin . Vol. 3, Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. Wolters Kluwer — Medknow Publications; 2012. p. 118–26.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Rizvi S, Raza ST, Ahmed F, Ahmad A, Abbas S, Mahdi F. The role of Vitamin E in human health and some diseases . Vol. 14, Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. Sultan Qaboos University; 2014 . p. e157.
Go to source
Scientific Article
DiNicolantonio JJ, Bhutani J, O’Keefe JH. The health benefits of Vitamin K . Vol. 2, Open Heart. BMJ Publishing Group; 2015. p. e000300
Go to source
Supplement Guide
Vitaminas: ¿Cuáles son los mejores suplementos del 2020?.
Go to source
Supplement Guide
Dieta mediterránea: ¿Qué es y cómo sacarle el mayor provecho
Go to source
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