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The Vitamin (English vitamine , today vitamin, and this of Latin vita ‘life’ and the suffix amine, a term coined by biochemist Casimir Funk in 1912) 1 are essential heterogeneous compounds for life, since by ingesting a balanced and In essential doses promote the correct physiological functioning. Most essential vitamins can not be synthesized (elaborated) by the body, so it can not obtain them more than through the balanced intake of vitamins contained in natural foods. Vitamins are nutrients that along with other nutritional elements act as catalysts for all (directly and indirectly) physiological processes.

Vitamins are precursors of coenzymes, (although not strictly enzymes) prosthetic groups of enzymes. This means that the molecule of the vitamin, with a small change in its structure, happens to be the active molecule, be it coenzyme or not.

Vitamin deficiency can cause more or less serious disorders, depending on the degree of deficiency, even leading to death. Regarding the possibility that these deficiencies occur in the developed world there are very conflicting positions. On the one hand there are those who assert that it is practically impossible to have a vitamin deficiency, and on the other hand, those who respond that it is quite difficult to reach the minimum vitamin doses, and therefore, it is easy to acquire a deficiency, at least mild.