The Every Vitamin Page

A List of All Vitamins and Pseudo-Vitamins

vitamins on table

I have always been fascinated by the various chemicals labeled "vitamins," and I even take some of them. The history of these chemicals is fascinating, so I made this page to track all the various vitamin "letters of the alphabet."

This page contains information about every known vitamin, pseudo-vitamin, and nutrient that has been called "vitamin" at some point since its discovery. We have included all the chemical and popular names associated with each vitamin, as best as we can tell based on our historical research. An asterisk (*) indicates the status as vitamin is questionable, and not accepted by mainstream science, although some people may claim they are stil vitamins.

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Vitamin A
Chemical Names- Retinol, Beta Carotene (pro-vitamin A)
Deficiency- Night blindness
RDA- 5,000 IU
Optimal intake- 2,000-5,000 IU
Good Sources- liver, carrots, spinach
Discussion- Vitamin A is fat soluble, and can be toxic in large amounts. Beta-Carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A as needed, is an antioxidant, and non-toxic. Synthetic Beta-Carotene (sold in supplement stores) is ineffective in preventing cancer in humans, and seems to harm smokers. Consuming over the RDA of Vitamin A is associated with a shorter lifespan. Other carotenoids (such as alpha-carotene) seem to be beneficial.

Vitamin B1
Chemical Names- Thiamine
Deficiency- Beriberi
RDA- 1.5 mg
Optimal intake- 5-15 mg
Good Sources- brewer's yeast, peanuts, milk, rice
Discussion- Thiamine is relatively safe.

Vitamin B2
Chemical Names- Riboflavin
Deficiency- lesions on mouth, lips, skin, etc.
RDA- 1.7 mg
Optimal intake- 5-20 mg
Good Sources- Milk, cheese, leafy vegetables
Discussion- Riboflavin is a mild antioxidant. Its bright yellow color colors urine after it is taken. Also known as Vitamin G

Vitamin B3
Chemical Names- Niacin, Niacinamide, Nicotinic Acid
Deficiency- Pellagra
RDA- 20 mg
Optimal intake- 50-500 mg
Good Sources- lean meat, whole wheat, brewer's yeast
Discussion- Niacin, but not Niacinamide, in high doses results in a "flush" reaction. Niacinamide does not have anti-cholesterol properties, and will not raise HDL cholesterol as Nicotinic Acid will. Also known as Vitamin PP for "pellagra-preventative"

Vitamin B4*
Chemical Names- Adenine
Deficiency- Muscular weakness (in rats and chicks)
Good Sources- Widespread in animal and plant tissues
Discussion- Adenine is a purine base of nucleic acids. Its status as a human vitamin is doubtful.

Vitamin B5
Chemical Names- Pantothenic Acid, Panthenol, (Calcium) Pantothenate
Deficiency- hypoglycemia, ulcers, skin disorders.
RDA- 10 mg
Optimal intake- 15-500 mg
Good Sources- Meat, whole grains, leafy vegetables
Discussion- Studies with rats by Dr. Roger Williams showed that Pantothenic Acid may be highly beneficial in fighting the effects of stress.

Vitamin B6
Chemical Names- Pyridoxine
Deficiency- Anemia, dermatitis, glossitis
RDA- 2 mg
Optimal intake- 10-100 mg
Good Sources- Brewer's yeast, soy beans, wheat germ
Discussion- As a methylating agent, B6 has potential to reduce blood homocysteine levels, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease. Amounts in excess of 200 mg/day might lead to toxicity, expressed in nerve problems.

Vitamin B7*
Deficiency- Digestive disorders in pigeons.
Good Sources- Rice polish
Discussion- Also known as Vitamin I. See also Biotin which some have called "Vitamin B7."

Vitamin B8*
Chemical Names- 5'-Adenylic Acid, Ergadenylic Acid, Adenosine Monophosphate
Deficiency- Decreases RNA, ADP, and ATP synthesis, inhibits breakdown of food into energy, reduces hormone function. Many sources now claim this substance is indeed an essential vitamin.
Good Sources- Yeast
Discussion- This nucleotide is still listed as a "Nutrient" by the Merck Index.

Vitamin B9*
Chemical Names- Mixture of multiple B Vitamins
Discussion- See Folic Acid. Some later researchers used Vitamin B9 to classify Folic Acid

Vitamin B10*
Chemical Names- pteroylmonoglutamic acid mixed with other B vitamins
Deficiency- Depressed growth and feathering in chicks.
Discussion- Also known as "The Feather Factor," Vitamin R and "Factor R."

Vitamin B11*
Chemical Names-Pteryl-hepta-glutamic acid (?)
Deficiency- Depressed growth and feathering in chicks
Discussion- Also called "The Growth Factor," Vitamin S and "Factor S."

Vitamin B12
Chemical Names- Cobalamin, Cyanocobalamin, Methylcobalamin
Deficiency- Pernicious Anemia
RDA- 6 mcg
Optimal intake- 100-1,000 mcg
Good Sources- Meat products, cheese
Discussion- Like Folic Acid, B12 reduces homocysteine levels. B12 is present in animal products, so vegans need to supplement. B12 vegetable "analogues" do not treat a B12 deficiency, and may exacerbate it. B12 needs "intrinsic factor" to be absorbed, and some stomachs do not produce enough, hence the need for injections or sublingual absorption.

Vitamin B13*
Chemical Names- Orotic Acid, Pyrimidinecarboxylic Acid
Deficiency- Possibly Multiple Sclerosis
Good Sources- Whey, Root vegetables
Discussion- Orotic Acid, a "mineral transporter," is commercially available in the form of mineral orotates. Its vitamin status is unlikely. Aspartic Acid and Colamine Phosphate (Calcium AEP) are "mineral transporters," and might have some claim as "B13."

Vitamin B14*
Deficiency- Anemia
Good Sources- Yeast, grains, legumes, organ meats, wine.
Discussion- Little is known about this; it might be similar to B10 and B11. Perhaps a substance isolated from wine that prevents cancer.

Vitamin B15*
Chemical Names- Pangamic Acid, Pangametin, Calcium Pangamate; Some B15 tablets contain either Dimethylglycine, diisopropylamine dichloroacetate, or other chemicals
Optimal intake- 50-150 mg
Good Sources- Yeast, Apricot seeds, Corn
Discussion- The chemical identity of Pangamic Acid is disputed. It is believed to be Dimethylgycine (DMG) and Gluconic Acid, although mixtures vary. If DMG is responsible for the benefits often attributed to Pangamic Acid, then Trimethylglycine may be considered to have "B15" activity. Both DMG and TMG act as methylators, reduce homocysteine in the blood, and are good for liver health. Vitamin status is unlikely. "Discovered," along with laetrile, by Ernst Krebs, Sr., MD and Ernst Krebs, Jr.

Vitamin B16*
Discussion- Perhaps studied in Russia, but vitamin status never fully developed.

Vitamin B17*
Chemical Names- Amygdalin, Prunasin (d-mandelonitrile glucoside), Dhurrin, Linamarin, Lotaustralin, Sambunigrin (l-mandelonitrile glucoside), Prulaurasin (dl-mandelonitrile glucoside), Triglochinin, Linustatin, Neolinustatin, Laetrile, oratrile.
Deficiency- Possibly increased incidence of cancer
Optimal intake- 25-100 mg
Good Sources- Apricot seeds, buckwheat, millet, lima beans, flax
Discussion- Supposed anti-cancer substances, Vitamin B17 is a group of cyanide producing sugars known as "cyanogenic glycosides" or "nitrilosides" that release cyanide when acted upon by the enzyme beta-glucosidase (emulsion). Often taken in concentrated form of amygdalin, one particular glycoside, but soon after mixed with water, the chemical is subject to epimerization, so quality is poor when stored in water. Laetrile is a patented formula that contains amygdalin, and is no longer available commercially. Rodent research suggests anti-metastatic effect at high injectable doses. Is an unproven therapy for cancer. Vitamin status unlikely.

Vitamin B22*
Discussion- Listed in Linda Clark's Know Your Nutrition. Otherwise, unknown. Yeast and aloe Vera are possible sources.

Vitamin Bc- See Folic Acid

Vitamin Bh- See Inositol

Vitamin Bp- See Choline

Vitamin Bt*
Chemical Names- L-Carnitine
Optimal intake- 500 mg
Good Sources- Chicken, red meats, fish
Discussion- L-Carnitine is an amino acid, and not essential as a protein or vitamin. It has been promoted as a treatment for heart disease. Its acetylated form has been promoted as good for brain health.

Vitamin Bx- See PABA

Vitamin Bw- See Biotin

Folic Acid
Chemical Names- Folacin, Pteroylglutamic Acid, Folate, Folinic Acid
Deficiency- Nutritional macrocytic anemia
RDA- 400 mcg
Optimal intake- 400-1,000 mcg
Good Sources- Green leafy vegetables, soy beans, oranges
Discussion- Folic Acid lowers blood levels of homocysteine, perhaps reducing heart disease. Folic Acid is a key factor in the prevention of many birth defects. Consuming too much may contribute to the development of colon cancer. Also known as Vitamin M

Biotin
Deficiency- Eczema, improper fat metabolism
RDA- 300 mcg
Optimal intake- 300-10,000 mcg
Good Sources- Brewer's yeast, soy beans, egg yolk
Discussion- A Biotin deficiency is rare. Unless raw egg whites are eaten often (they contain a substance that binds Biotin), we get ample Biotin. Recently high-dose Biotin has been found to benefit Diabetes. Also known as Coenzyme R, Factor W, Factor S, Factor H, Factor X, and Vitamin H

Choline*
Deficiency- Liver problems
AI (Adequate Intake) - 425 to 550 mg
Optimal intake- 100-1000 mg
Good Sources- Brewer's yeast, Lecithin, wheat germ
Discussion- Choline is not a vitamin, strictly defined, because it can be made by the human body. However, Choline is considered an essential nutrient because it is often needed in amounts greater than the body is able to synthesize. Choline does not have an RDA, but the Institute of Medicine has established an "adequate intake" for it.

Inositol*
Deficiency- Possibly eczema
Optimal intake- 100-1,000 mg
Good Sources- Brewer's yeast, grapefruits, Lecithin, peanuts
Discussion- Inositol is present in many B-Complex formulas, and is probably best thought of as a B-Complex "factor," appearing with the B vitamins in many foods and supplements, rather than an actual vitamin. It is a component of Lecithin with Choline.

PABA*
Chemical Names- Para-Aminobenzoic Acid
Deficiency- Graying of hair, eczema in animals
Optimal intake- 10-100 mg
Good Sources- Brewer's yeast, wheat germ, sunflower seeds
Discussion- PABA has been used topically as a sunscreen, although it is rarely used now. Like Choline and Inositol, it still appears in B-Complex formulas, despite not actually being essential for humans. It is an essential nutrient for some bacteria.

PQQ*
Chemical Names- Pyrroloquinoline Quinone
Deficiency- fertility issues in mice
Optimal intake- 1.33 mg/day and above
Good Sources- Natto, parsley, green tea, green peppers, papaya, and kiwi
Discussion- Japanese researchers Kasahara and Kato proposed in 2003 that PQQ (discovered in 1979) may be a vitamin, possibly within the B-Complex. Other researches disagreed. Either way, studies show that PQQ may be able to protect mitochondria and do something very few chemicals can do: stimulate new mitochondrial growth, at a dose of 1.33 mg/day based on extrapolation from animal studies. It also may have neurological and cardiovascular benefits.

Vitamin C
Chemical Names- Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate
Deficiency- Scurvy
RDA- 60 mg
Optimal intake- 250-1,000 mg
Good Sources- Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli
Discussion- Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and it is claimed to have a positive effect against cancer, infections, and other health disorders, including prevention and treatment of the common cold. It is generally non-toxic.

Vitamin D
Chemical Names- Ergocalciferol (D2), Calciferol, Cholecalciferol (D3)
Deficiency- Ricketts
RDA- 400 IU
Optimal intake- 800-4000(?) IU
Good Sources- Milk, fatty fish, sunlight
Discussion- Vitamin D, a hormone in its bioactive form, is essential for bone health, and shows promise in the prevention of cancer, multiple sclerosis, and perhaps even autism. Some experts suggest supplementation at over 1,000 IU/day in order to consume amounts produced by regular adequate sun exposure, although taking more than the RDA has been linked with an increased number of calcium deposits in the brain. Generally, doses up to 10,000 IU per day, for a limited period, are deemed safe. Vitamin D3 is thought to be better utilized than D2.

Vitamin E
Chemical Names- Alpha-tocopherol
Deficiency- infertility
RDA- 30 IU
Optimal intake- 100-300 IU
Good Sources- Sunflower seeds, wheat germ
Discussion- Vitamin E is an antioxidant; alpha-tocopherol is a vitamin, although other tocopherols, e.g. gamma-tocopherol, exist in nature, and might be beneficial. Consuming 400 IU/day has been linked to increased mortality. Supplements sold with "d-alpha-tocopherol" contain the natural, more potent, form of vitamin E, while "dl-alpha-tocopherol," is synthetic.

Vitamin F*
Chemical Names- Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Arachadonic Acid
Deficiency- Similar to those associated with lack of fat in diet
RDA- None established
Good Sources- Vegetable oils
Discussion- Vitamin F is actually a term for the macronutrients known as Essential Fatty Acids. They are essential, but not vitamins.

Vitamin G- See Vitamin B2

Vitamin H- See Biotin

Vitamin I*- See Vitamin B7

Vitamin J*
Chemical Names- Catechol, Flavin
Good Sources- Higher woody plants
Discussion- Catechol is a flavonoid. Vitamin J has also been applied to Choline

Vitamin K
Chemical Names- Menadione, Phytomenadione, Phylloquinone, Menaquinone
Deficiency- Hemorrhage
RDA- 80 mcg
Optimal intake- 100-150 mcg
Good Sources- Green leafy vegetables, many cheeses
Discussion- Vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, is now recognized as a key factor in bone health.

Vitamin L1*
Chemical Names- Ortho-Aminobenzoic Acid, Anthranilic Acid
Good Sources- bovine liver
Deficiency- Lactation problems in animals. Anthranilic Acid is an amino acid.

Vitamin L2*
Chemical Names- Adenyl Thiomethylpentose
Good Sources- Yeast
Deficiency- Lactation problems in animals

Vitamin M- See Folic Acid

Vitamin N*
Chemical Names- Thioctic Acid, Alpha-lipoic acid
Deficiency- lack of growth in protozoa and bacteria.
Optimal intake- 300-600 mg
Discussion- Alpha-Lipoic Acid has been used to regulate blood sugar, and is a universal antioxidant, i.e. the chemical is fat and water soluble. It is not a vitamin, strictly defined.

Vitamin P*
Chemical Names- Rutin, Hesperidin, Quercetin, Citrus Bioflavonoids
Deficiency- Capillary fragility
Optimal intake- 100-1,000 mg
Good Sources- Citrus fruits, onions, vegetables
Discussion- While not vitamins, Bioflavonoids are beneficial nutrients. Often associated with Vitamin C, many refer to Vitamin P as the "C-Complex." There are over 1000 chemicals that can be classified as Bioflavonoids. Quercetin may have anti-aging properties because of its relationship to sirtuin in the body. Resveratrol (not a bioflavonoid) has similar properties.

Vitamin PP - see Vitamin B3

Vitamin Q*
Deficiency- Inability of blood to clot in telagiectasia patients
Good Sources-Soybeans, clover, alfalfa
Discussion- Named after Dr. Armand James Quick, who believed he had found a substance in soybeans that could prevent bleeding in people with telangiectasia. According to Quick, Vitamin Q is only essential in patients with that rare blood disorder. Quick apparently references Vitamin Q in his book Bleeding, Drugs, Vitamins: Their Impact on History. Occasionally, Co-Enzyme Q10 is called "Vitamin Q."

Vitamin R*
Discussion- Old name for Vitamin B10. Also on "The Simpsons" the vitamin in the "malk" drink, the kids drank at lunch on a budget crisis!

Vitamin S*
Deficiency- Sterility
Good Sources- kelp
Discussion- I found one reference to this in a book a long time ago. Kelp is known for its many nutrients, so it's likely that this substance is some other vitamin or mineral. Vitamin B11 was also called Vitamin S for awhile. Some have proposed that Salicylic Acid (Salicylates), a natural chemical related to aspirin, is Vitamin S. This is based on its anti-inflammatory effects, which may have a role in preventing cancer and other diseases.

Vitamin T*
Chemical Names- Tegotin, Termitin, Torutilin
Deficiency- Anemia, lack of growth
Good Sources- Yeast, termites, fungi, sesame seeds
Discussion- Vitamin T is a name for two substances. The first is a group of growth-promoting substances in termites, torula yeast and fungi. W. Goetsch, an Austrian, came up with this designation, and sometimes this Vitamin T is called "Vitamin T Goetsch," or "Vitamin T Complex." However, researchers Schiff and Hirschberger, in the 1930s, gave the name "Vitamin T" to a fat soluble blood health factor they believed was present in sesame seeds and egg yolks. Whatever this chemical is, it is different from "Vitamin T Goetsch."

Vitamin U*
Chemical Names- Methylmethioninesulfonium Chloride, Cabagin-U, S-Methylmethionine
Deficiency- Ulcers
Good Sources- Cabbage, alfalfa, celery, unpasteurized milk, greens, raw egg yolks, cereal grasses, certain animal and vegetable fats
Discussion- Cabbage Juice often heals ulcers in a week or two, so Dr. Garnett Cheney of Stanford, whose research backed up this assertion, proposed it was a vitamin. However, while beneficial for treating ulcers, it is likely not a vitamin. It is possible that S-Methylmethionine, identified by Dr. Cheney, is not even the factor responsible for the "vitamin U" activity of cabbage. Another possible factor responsible might be Allantoin or possibly the amino acid Glutamine. Dr. Cheney believed that whatever factor was responsible, it was destroyed by cooking.

Vitamin V*
Chemical Names- Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, NAD
Deficiency- Developmental problems in chicks
Discussion- Vitamin V was also used of PABA

Vitamin W*
Discussion- Possibly Biotin

Vitamin X*
Deficiency- Aging
Good Sources- Hydrocotyle Asiatica Minor (an herb)
Discussion- A proposed vitamin by certain researchers, I read about in Worldwide Secrets For Staying Young by Paavo Airola. Ultimately "Vitamin X" is used to describe any unknown vitamin, including PABA before it was isolated.

Vitamin Y*
Discussion- Perhaps Vitamin B6


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