chapter  14
21 Pages

Vitamins and other bioactive food constituents

Vitamins are organic compounds found in small amounts in many foods; their presence in the diet is ‘essential’ because, the body is unable to synthesize them from other nutrients and they are required for normal growth and function. Various deficiency diseases are associated with shortages of specific vitamins. Deficiency diseases have caused much suffering and death in the past, but now that they are understood better they can largely be prevented and cured by ensuring that the diet contains a sufficient quantity and variety of vitamins.