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Types of Vitamins: Benefits, Deficiencies, & Sources

Each type of vitamin benefits your body and health in a different way. Working in tandem with each other, it’s essential to understand the importance of each vitamin, the signs that you are deficient, and how to boost your levels. Our guide to the different types of vitamins takes you through all the information you need to know.

The Importance of Vitamins for Health

Vitamins support our bodies in essential ways, from aiding wound healing to boosting our immune system. If all vitamins are not included within the diet then you could find yourself with deficiencies, causing you to feel lethargic, low in mood, have weak muscles and experience gut issues.

Fat-Soluble vs Water-Soluble Vitamins

There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The two types refer to what substance the vitamin dissolves in.

  • Fat-soluble Vitamins - Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat-soluble vitamins cannot dissolve in water and so are more easily absorbed into your bloodstream. These types of vitamins are stored in your body’s fatty tissue and muscles.
  • Water-soluble Vitamins - Vitamin C and B vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are dissolved in water and not normally stored within the body. As this type of vitamin is not stored in the body, and is instead passed out through urine, it must be consumed regularly to avoid becoming deficient.

13 Types of Vitamins

When broken down into their individual parts, there are 13 types of vitamins. This includes all the B-complex vitamins.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, comes in two types: preformed Vitamin A and provitamin A.

Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is responsible for supporting the immune system. The key benefits of Vitamin A include:

  • Contributes to normal iron metabolism
  • Helps to maintain normal skin - Vitamin A controls the production of sebum, which helps to maintain optimum levels of moisture making this vitamin ideal as a skin supplement.
  • Supports the maintenance of normal vision - This type of vitamin is essential in converting light that hits your retina into a signal your brain can convert to an image.
  • Aids the immune system - By supporting the production of mucous barriers that trap bacteria, as well as being involved in the production of white blood cells.

  • Vitamin A Deficiency

    Any type of vitamin deficiency can impact our health negatively. Here are the signs of Vitamin A deficiency that you should look out for:

  • Dry skin and hair
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Infections in the throat or chest

  • Sources of Vitamin A

    To boost your levels of this type of vitamin, you should look to include these foods and supplements in your diet:

  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Oily Fish

  • B-Complex Vitamins

    In total there are eight types of Vitamin B, together these are known as B vitamins or a B-complex. Each type of vitamin has its own role in supporting your wellbeing.

    The Different Types of Vitamin B

    The majority of the different types of B vitamins have both their numbered name and their chemical name. For those such as B9, you may be more familiar with the chemical name ‘folic acid’ whereas types such as B12 go by their number.

  • B1/Thiamin
  • B2/Riboflavin
  • B3/Niacin
  • B5/Pantothenic Acid
  • B6
  • B7/Biotin
  • B9/Folate/Folic Acid
  • B12

  • Benefits of B Vitamins

    It’s essential to maintain optimum nutrient levels of this type of vitamin as it has many important functions within the body. The benefits of Vitamin B include:

  • Supporting the immune system - Vital to the production of red blood cells, this type of vitamin helps the immune system get the oxygen it needs.
  • Energy production - Aiding your body in converting food into glucose, Vitamin B is a natural energy supplement.
  • Supporting cardiovascular health - Supporting both nerve and blood cells, ensuring you have optimum levels of Vitamin B is vital for heart health.
  • Encouraging healthy brain function - The B6 type of vitamin in particular helps the development of neurotransmitters which influences brain processes and development.

  • Vitamin B Deficiency

    The symptoms of Vitamin B deficiency can leave you feeling low. Here are the symptoms to look out for:

    • Tiredness and fatigue
    • Pale skin
    • Low mood

    Insufficient dietary intake as well as pernicious anaemia can leave you depleted of this type of vitamin. If you’re worried about your symptoms you should consult your GP.

    Sources of B-Complex Vitamins

    To ensure you see the benefits of this type of vitamin, you need to know how to boost your levels.

  • Vitamin B supplements
  • Meat, including liver, fish, and poultry
  • Milk
  • Fortified cereal
  • Green vegetables


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    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is one of the most well known types, with it being commonly found in citrus fruits such as oranges. In Vitamin C supplements the most common type of this vitamin is ascorbic acid.

    Benefits of Vitamin C

    Vitamin C benefit the body in a number of ways, from supporting the immune system, to maintaining bone health. Here are some of the top ways Vitamin C could benefit you:

  • Protects cells - Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells against damage caused by free radicals.
  • Maintains bone health - As well as fighting free radicals which can harm bone health, this type of vitamin is also vital in the production of collagen for bones.
  • Supports immune system - As an antioxidant, Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation which in turn aids the immune system.
  • Aids eye health - Studies have shown that keeping optimum levels of Vitamin C throughout your life can lower your risk of cataracts by up to 45%.

  • Vitamin C Deficiency

    The most common symptom associated with a deficiency in this type of vitamin is scurvy. If you’re concerned about Vitamin C deficiency then watch out for these signs:

  • Dry Skin
  • Weak Bones
  • Easy Bruising
  • Bumpy Skin

  • Sources of Vitamin C

    Boosting your levels of this vital type of vitamin is effortless by adding food supplements to your routine and increasing your intake of certain foods.

  • Vitamin C Supplements
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes

  • Vitamin D

    Vitamin D comes in two types: Vitamin D3 and D2. Where these differ is how they are produced. Vitamin D2 is found in plants, so is perfect as a vegan supplement or vegetarian supplement. Whereas D3 is formed in both human and animal skin when exposed to sunlight, making it a type of vitamin not suitable for those on a vegan diet.

    Benefits of Vitamin D

    The types of Vitamin D boast many advantages for your wellbeing. The benefits of Vitamin D include:

  • Muscle Function - Supporting faster muscle recovery this type of vitamin is perfect as a sports supplement. In combination with magnesium supplements, Vitamin D can ensure your muscles have the nutrients they need.
  • Immune System Support - Vitamin D increases the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and aids production of immune cells. It’s an essential type of vitamin included in immune supplements.
  • Supports Normal Bone Health - Vitamin D plays a vital role in regulating the calcium and phosphorus levels in your bones. This helps to ensure your bones are strong and healthy.

  • Vitamin D Deficiency

    In the UK, we don’t often get enough sun to produce the optimum levels of Vitamin D naturally. This means many of us could be suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency and its symptoms:

  • Aching Bones
  • Low Mood
  • Weak Muscles
  • Constant viral illnesses

  • If you think you are experiencing a deficiency in this vitamin type, our vitamin at-home health tests can help you confirm. Ensure you consult with your doctor if you believe you are deficient.

    Sources of Vitamin D

    The most well known source of Vitamin D is from the sun - in this way our skin converts direct sunlight into the essential nutrient. There are however other ways to boost your levels:

    Vitamin E

    Vitamin E is fat-soluble, and also known as tocopherol. Another antioxidant type of vitamin, vitamin E is known for its immune-boosting properties.

    Benefits of Vitamin E

    The benefits of Vitamin E focus on supporting the immune system, and it does this in a few ways.

  • Supports skin and hair health - By limiting the impact free radicals can have on your body, Vitamin E works as a hair and skin supplement. Keeping hair shiny and skin smooth.
  • Supports growth of T cells - T cells fight against infection in the body and Vitamin E is an essential part in their growth, thereby helping to fend off illness.
  • Fights free radicals - Free radicals can damage cells. As an antioxidant, this type of vitamin helps to defend cells from free radicals.

  • Vitamin E Deficiency

    Vitamin E deficiency is quite rare, however it’s important to understand the symptoms to look out for in case you struggle with intake.

  • Nerve and Muscle Damage
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Feeling in Arms and Legs

  • Sources of Vitamin E

    Keeping your Vitamin E levels at optimum is effortless with these key sources:

  • Vitamin E Supplements
  • Multivitamins
  • Nuts and Seeds (including almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds)
  • Fruits (including avocado, raspberries, and mango)
  • Vegetables (including broccoli, spinach, and green beans)

  • Vitamin K

    The two main types of Vitamin K are K1 and K2. K1 is mainly found in leafy green vegetables, whereas K2 is found in fermented food and animal products.

    Benefits of Vitamin K

    The benefits of Vitamin K are threefold, and essential for the human body to work efficiently.

  • Supports bone health - Vitamin K, in partnership with Vitamin D, works to move calcium into the bones giving them strength. Bone supplements tend to contain both types of vitamin for ultimate support.
  • Aids heart health - A vital role of this type of vitamin is to move minerals along rather than letting them build up. By doing this, Vitamin K helps to regulate blood pressure.
  • Maintains normal blood clotting - When we are wounded our body clots blood to help heal the wound, Vitamin K plays a role in this clotting.

  • Vitamin K Deficiency

    A Vitamin K deficiency can be very dangerous due to its essential role in blood and circulation health. The most common signs of deficiency in this type of mineral include:

  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Blood Under Nails
  • Heavy Menstrual Periods
  • Bruising

  • Sources of Vitamin K

    Regulating your Vitamin K to intake the optimum levels can be simple with these sources:

  • Vitamin K Supplements
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Dairy Foods
  • Cereals
  • Eggs
  • Chickpeas

  • BetterYou’s Types of Vitamins

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    It’s important that everyone has the types of vitamins they need, which is why we have formulations for every stage of life. Our children’s vitamins, women’s health vitamins and men’s health supplements all include types of vitamins to support energy levels, immune health, and your bones and muscles.

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