chapter  16
Water-Soluble Vitamins
Pages 86

Water-soluble vitamins constitute a diverse group of

compounds that exhibit vitamin activity in vivo and have some degree of solubility in water. They must be

obtained from exogenous sources and are essential for

the normal metabolic and physiological functions of humans; their absence from the diet usually results in

an overt deficiency disease that can be reversed by

administration of the vitamin (1). Additional health benefits have recently been attributed to vitamin

intakes in excess of those needed to prevent classical

nutritional deficiencies. Due to the diverse nature of the vitamins, their structures and physicochemical

properties vary widely. A single vitamin generally

consists of several chemical species or vitamers. Each of these vitamers exhibits similar biological activity

in vivo although their individual structures and physicochemical properties may differ.