Vitamin Benefit Chart

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
vitamin wheel

Vitamin charts come in handy when you want to maximize your health, as vitamin deficiencies can impact energy levels, metabolism, bones, muscles, eyes, skin, mental alertness, immunity, and overall fitness. Vitamin charts help you know about each vitamin's role in your body, and how much you should be getting daily.

At-a-Glance Chart for Vitamin Benefits

The vitamin chart below shows a list of all essential vitamins and why it's crucial to get the right amount of each in your diet regularly. Each nutrient brings something unique to the table, while working in harmony with other vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind the chart below contains information for vitamins only, while minerals (calcium, iron, etc.) are just as important to maximize overall health.

Vitamin

Benefits

Vitamin A

  • Maintains and helps form healthy teeth, mucus membranes, soft tissue, and skeletal tissue (bones)
  • Maximizes vision, especially in low (dim) light
  • May be useful during breastfeeding and reproduction
  • Needed for proper fetal development
  • Beta carotene (forms vitamin A in your body) is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage (that may contribute to chronic diseases)
  • Important for a strong immune system and wound healing

Vitamin B1 (thiamin)

  • Helps change carbohydrates in the body to energy and is important for overall metabolism
  • Aids in the conduction of nerve signals
  • Important for muscle contraction

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

  • Works in conjunction with other B vitamins
  • Needed for red blood cell formation
  • Necessary for proper body growth
  • Needed to release energy from proteins (metabolism)
  • Acts as an antioxidant

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

  • Helps convert food to energy (important for metabolism)
  • Needed for proper function of skin, nerves, and the digestive system
  • Helps make hormones
  • Improves circulation
  • Suppresses inflammation

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

  • Essential for proper growth
  • Metabolizes carbohydrates and fats
  • Used when making cholesterol, hormones, and fatty acids
  • Needed to make red blood cells
  • Helps maintains the digestive tract health

Vitamin B6

  • Helps break down proteins
  • Makes antibodies to help fight diseases
  • Needed for proper nerve function
  • Makes hemoglobin (helps prevent anemia)
  • Helps maintain normal blood glucose levels (blood sugar)

Vitamin B7 (biotin)

  • Metabolizes protein, carbs, and fats
  • Needed for proper body growth
  • Essential for embryotic growth during pregnancy
  • Strengthens hair and nails

Vitamin B12

  • Needed for breaking down proteins (metabolism).
  • Helps form red blood cells.
  • Helps maintain central nervous system.

Folic Acid

  • Important for protein metabolism
  • Needed to produce DNA and red blood cells (helps prevent anemia)
  • Helps prevent birth defects (neural tube defects during pregnancy)
  • Aids with body tissue growth
  • Helps maintain healthy cells

Vitamin C

  • Used for growth and repair of body tissues
  • Needed for blood vessel, ligament, tendon, and skin production
  • Used for would healing
  • Helps form scar tissue
  • Aids in repairing bones, teeth, and cartilage
  • Helps your body absorb iron
  • Prevents cell damage by acting as an antioxidant
  • Keeps your immune system strong

Vitamin D

  • Promotes healthy bones
  • Needed for proper bone growth
  • Helps maintain calcium balance within the body
  • Maintains a healthy immune system, nerves, and muscles

Vitamin E

  • Needed for proper growth and development
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and diseases
  • Important for metabolism
  • May prevent health conditions related to aging
  • Aids in red blood cell production
  • Helps the body use vitamin K
  • Protects blood vessels from clotting

Vitamin K

  • Makes protein for bones and other tissues (needed for strong bones)
  • Makes proteins used for blood clotting

Choline

  • Used for metabolism
  • Needed to maintain cell structure
  • Aids in neurotransmitter synthesis (creation)
  • Needed for fat transport in the body
  • Used for cell membrane signaling

Dosing Information

Knowing how much of each vitamin (and mineral) to consume daily helps ensure you're not getting too little (or too much) of each essential nutrient. Keep in mind too much of a good thing isn't always beneficial. Some vitamins, like B and C, are water-soluble and tend to get flushed out in urine if you consume too much.

Excess fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) can build up in your body, leading to unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. Bottom line: pay attention to recommended dietary allowances (RDAs), adequate intake levels (AIs), and tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) and talk with your doctor if you have vitamin deficiency symptoms that might require high doses of vitamin or mineral supplements.

Importance of Vitamins

Vitamins affect nearly every cell and function in your body. Having proper vitamin intake allows your body to function optimally and understanding the benefits serves as a reminder that you need to eat a diet rich in vitamins to stay healthy.

Vitamin Benefit Chart