Vitamins are a group of unrelated chemical substances that are essential in small amounts for the regulation of normal metabolism, growth, and function of the human body. Not all of the vitamins can be synthesized in the body, and therefore, some vitamins must be obtained from an external source, such as a proper well-balanced diet or dietary supplements.

Vitamins become a pharmacological concern when there is an imbalance in the body's vitamin supply. Deficiency diseases can result from insufficient vitamin ingestion, irregular absorption, or impaired metabolic use of these nutrients. The ingestion or administration of excessive quantities of vitamins, also known as hy-pervitaminosis, may result in toxicity.

This chapter focuses on the pharmacological and toxicological properties of vitamins.

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