The vitamin alphabet is growing. Vitamins A, B, C, and D are household words and old family friends. But there are seven others clamoring for public recognition, and the discovery of a new substance by biochemists in Copenhagen University, which is believed to prevent anaemia, brings the list down to the letter K.
How many vitamins are there, and what do vitamins do for the body?
There is no doubt about the nature and properties of vitamins A to E.
» Vitamin A is present in the liver fats of grazing animals; fish liver oils, milk, butter, cream and many green vegetables. It promotes growth and increases the resisting power of the body to disease germs.
» Vitamin B is found in seed germs, yeast, egg yolk, nuts and many vegetables. It wards off neuritis.
» Vitamin D, which prevents rickets, is found in most of the substances in which vitamin A is present, except in animal’s livers.
» Vitamin E is absent from cod liver oil, but is abundant in wheat germ oil and in lettuce and peas. It prevents sterility.
» The discovery of vitamin F was claimed by one research worker, but biochemists doubt whether it has a separate existence. They are inclined to think that it is only one of the better-known vitamins under another name.
» Vitamin G, which is present in most of the substances containing vitamin B, helps the nerves and digestion.
» Vitamin H is said to exist in cows’ milk, human milk, yeast, kidneys and liver, but all that is known about it. So far is that one research worker believes that its absence was the cause of a skin disease on a baby trout.
» Vitamins I and J are according to the Pharmaceutical Society, unproved Research workers claimed to have discovered them, and learned papers were written about them.
» The vitamin K, which is found in the fat of pig’s livers, hemp seed and certain vegetables, has undergone exhaustive tests which prove that its presence prevents anaemia and hemorrhage.