Health & FitnessHow Long Have We Relied On Vitamins For? The History Of Vitamins

How Long Have We Relied On Vitamins For? The History Of Vitamins

Vitamins have long been considered essential for maintaining a healthy body and performing its basic activities. But, has this always been the case? How long has it been known that we need vitamins? This article will walk you through the history of vitamins, from where this goal to improve our health started.


Quick Debrief

Let’s go through a quick overview before we dig into the timeline of vitamins and where their necessity originated. After all, multivitamin tablets have grown in popularity over the last two decades, with retail sales more than tripling. In the early part of the century, it was thought that there were only three “fundamental nutrients,” which included:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats

While the three aforementioned regions are essential to include in your diet, we now know that a healthy diet also necessitates a little more looking. There are now 13 (yes – 13!) required vitamins. The following stage in this walkthrough will show you what they are.

The History Of Vitamins

Timeline Of Essential Vitamins

  • 1912: Protein, carbohydrates, fats.
  • 1941: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, D, calcium, iron.
  • 1968: Vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, calcium, iron, magnesium.
  • Present Day: Vitamins A, C, D, E, calcium, eight B vitamins.

1912: The Discovery Of Vitamins

In 1912, a group of researchers began attempting to figure out why so many people were falling ill. It was only assumed that there were three fundamental nutrients at the time.

The researchers learned that people were cleaning their meals too much, attempting to eliminate all germs. This resulted in stripping the food of nutrients, too! According to Casimir Funk (the “father” of vitamins), a lot of illnesses would be cured if nutrients remained in foods.

1916: The Rise Of Products

When it was discovered that we all require nutrients, a slew of vitamin goods began to emerge. All health companies jumped on the bandwagon, from generic multivitamins to “super powerful” treatments. Some were probably more genuine than others, to say the least.

1920: Shifting Focus To Specific Vitamins

During the 1920s, vitamin inadequacies became increasingly prominent. Vitamin A and C sales increased significantly; people believed that a vitamin with one of these ingredients would cure all their ills. This drove further growth in the multivitamin market, offering false hope based on scant evidence.

World War Two

During World War Two, it became apparent that a large percentage of the males were suffering from low nutrition. The government then established daily allowances for six vitamins and two minerals as a result of this.

1973: Accessibility To Vitamins

In 1973, the firm “MegaFood” recognized an opportunity to produce more “friendly” vitamins. This involved utilising plant-based elements rather than chemical or artificial additives. There’s a vitamin for everyone!

That concludes our little trip through the history of vitamins.

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