Vitamins are required in the diet for human consumption. Compounds that are known collectively as vitamins are either insufficiently produced in the body or are not synthesized at all and yet are essential to normal body functions. In general, the concentrations of vitamins stored within the body vary. Some vitamins (σuch as A and B12) remain in the body in sufficient quantity such that a person may not develop a deficiency for months or years despite low dietary intake. However, other vitamin deficiencies may develop within a matter of weeks. Deficiencies of vitamins (and minerals) may be caused by, and may result in, a variety of diseases. This entry discusses the principal vitamin deficiencies and highlights important contributing factors and treatment regimens. Although the discussion ...

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