Vitamin

The essential vitamins and minerals are a group of 24 vitamins (organic compounds containing carbon molecules) or minerals (elements on the periodic table). They are all vital to life, and all can be consumed via food. Found in multivitamins, it is wise to supplement those you underconsume.

Our evidence-based analysis features 206 unique references to scientific papers.


Research analysis by and verified by the Examine.com Research Team. Last updated on Jun 11, 2018.

Goals

There are 24 Essential Vitamins and Minerals, twelve of each.

These compounds are normally obtained through a healthy diet, and are absolutely crucial to intake (via either supplementation or diet) for optimal human functioning.

Ingesting optimal levels results in optimal human functioning (relative to deficiency states), having a lesser than optimal intake results in what are known as 'sub-clinical' deficiencies which are non-optimal states that are not necessarily adverse.

Although rare, clinical or 'true' deficiency states may occur with prolonged avoidance of said vitamin or mineral. These states usually have unique names, like Rickets (Vitamin D deficiency) or Scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency).

Higher levels of vitamins and minerals, above what is needed for optimal health, is not necessarily better and may actually be harmful. Each vitamin or mineral has a recommended intake range which should be aimed for through diet first and supplementation afterwards.

Things to Know

Also Known As

Dietary Vitamin, Dietary Mineral, Essential vitamins or minerals, Essential Vitamin, Essential Mineral

Do Not Confuse With

Non-essential Vitamins or Mineral, Pseudovitamins

Caution Notice

Each vitamin or mineral has a recommended intake, and more is not necessarily better.

The dose makes the poison, and almost all vitamins and minerals have certain cases where an excess of said compound has caused harm.

Examine.com Medical Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers regarding Vitamin

Q: Do B vitamins increase the risk of getting cancer?

A: Recent evidence has linked B vitamins (specifically B6 and B12) to an increased risk of lung cancer in men, especially in smokers. Here, we analyze the study and interview the lead author, Dr. Theodore Brasky.

Read full answer to "Do B vitamins increase the risk of getting cancer?"


Q: 5 supplements (and foods) for a stronger heart

A: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the #1 cause of death globally. But a mix of the right foods and complementary supplements can help decrease your risk factors.

Read full answer to "5 supplements (and foods) for a stronger heart"


Q: When should I take Vitamin D?

Read full answer to "When should I take Vitamin D?"


Q: Can vitamin D-crease pain?

A: Vitamin D supplementation reduces pain significantly more than placebo, especially among hospitalized patients with chronic pain conditions.

Read full answer to "Can vitamin D-crease pain?"


Q: How can you increase testosterone naturally?

A: Quality sleep, physical activity, and weight management come first. A few supplements can help sustain healthy testosterone levels, but most supplements marketed as testosterone boosters don’t work, though some can make you believe they do by boosting your libido.

Read full answer to "How can you increase testosterone naturally?"


Q: Should you take a multivitamin?

A: Although multivitamins can address multiple nutritional deficiencies, they don’t seem to help most people live longer. They may, however, benefit certain at-risk populations.

Read full answer to "Should you take a multivitamin?"


Q: Do I need to supplement Vitamin D if I drink fortified milk?

Read full answer to "Do I need to supplement Vitamin D if I drink fortified milk?"


Q: Should you supplement with vitamin K?

A: Research is still scarce, but current evidence suggests that, through their effect on calcium regulation, some forms of vitamin K can help prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Read full answer to "Should you supplement with vitamin K?"


Scientific Support & Reference Citations

Via HEM and FAQ:

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(Common misspellings for Vitamin include vitmin, vitamn, minral, minerl, dietry, esential, essenshul, essentil)

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"Vitamin," Examine.com, published on 6 February 2013, last updated on 11 June 2018, https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin/