Vitamins and minerals act as intermediaries of biochemical reactions in the body. Referred to as micronutrients, they are required in moderately small amounts and occur naturally in foods in unpredictable concentrations. To obtain all the vitamins and minerals obligatory for life, we must ingest a variety of foods. Virtually every vitamin in existence is important to the growing individual, and as such, they are all included here below. VitaminsFunctionVitamin AEncourages growth and repair of body tissues, bone construction, and healthy skin and hair. Vital for night vision!Beta CaroteneFunctions as an antioxidant (those substances that shield cells from free radicals, where oxidative damage caused by these free radicals can play an instrumental role in heart disease, some cancers, and cataracts). Vitamin DAssists in the absorption of calcium and helps to construct bone mass and foil bone loss. Helps uphold blood levels of calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin EFunctions as an antioxidant. Needed for normal growth and development.Vitamin KRequired for normal blood clotting and bone health.Vitamin CEncourages healthy cell development, wound healing, and resistance to infections. Functions as an antioxidant. Essential for the transfiguration of the inactive form of folic acid into the active form. Makes iron accessible for haemoglobin synthesis.Thiamine (B1)Co-enzyme for carbohydrate metabolism. Required for normal functioning of the nervous system and muscles, counting the heart.Riboflavin (B2)Co-enzyme in red blood cell development, nervous system functioning, and metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Necessary for vision and may help guard against cataracts.NiacinCo-enzyme for protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism and appropriate nervous system functioning. High intakes can reduce elevated cholesterol. Pyridoxine (B6)Co-enzyme for protein digestion and nervous and immune system utility. Involved in synthesis of hormones and red blood cells.Folic AcidRequired for normal growth and development and red blood cell formation. Lessens risk of neural tube birth deficiencies. May diminish risk of heart disease and cervical dysplasia. Cobalamin (B12)Crucial for blood development and healthy nervous system.BiotinHelps in the metabolism of fatty acids and utilisation of B vitamins.Pantothenic AcidHelps in normal growth and development. BibliographyBaechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle. NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd Edition. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2008. Campbell, Bill I., and Marie A. Spano. NSCA's Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2011.