How are vitamins called

Vitamins and minerals for children from A-Z

Fat-soluble vitamins

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A is important for the function and protection of the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. It is found in animal foods such as fish, milk, egg yolks, and liver. Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain a precursor of vitamin A, provitamin A or beta-carotene. The body can convert this precursor into vitamin A itself if a fatty food was consumed at the same time (for example a carrot and a slice of bread with cream cheese).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D regulates the calcium and phosphate balance and is therefore particularly important for healthy bones and teeth. On the one hand, vitamin D is absorbed through food; it is found, for example, in egg yolks or high-fat sea fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel. On the other hand, vitamin D is produced by the body itself when exposed to sunlight. A daily 10 to 15 minute stay in the open air between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. therefore contributes significantly to the vitamin D supply.

Vitamin E.

Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and has anti-inflammatory effects. It prevents the breakdown of vitamins A and D through oxidation, so it is also known as an antioxidant. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, whole grain products and nuts.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for blood to clot. A lack of vitamin K can lead to profuse bleeding even with the smallest injuries. Newborns receive a dose of vitamin K as a precaution in the first few days of life in order to ensure an optimal supply. Vitamin K is found in eggs, grain products and many types of vegetables, e.g. broccoli, spinach, and white cabbage.

Water soluble vitamins

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B 1 influences the nervous system and the production of energy in the body. It is found in whole grains, pork, and legumes.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is important for skin, eye, and nail health. It is also responsible for body growth. It can be found especially in liver, milk and vegetables.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in protein digestion and detoxification and is found in meat, fish, whole grain products and legumes.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the few water-soluble vitamins that can be stored in the body (liver) over a longer period of time. Vitamin B12 is involved in the formation of red blood cells and cell nuclei. It occurs in all animal foods. Vitamin B12 is not found in plant-based foods.


Biotin influences the health of skin and hair and supports certain metabolic processes. It is found in innards and eggs.


Folate is significantly involved in blood formation and is therefore very important for all growth and development processes. It is found in leafy green vegetables, whole grain bread, legumes, and liver. The synthetic form is called folic acid.

vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the immune system and promotes wound healing. It is found in fruits, vegetables, and potatoes.


Niacin is involved in building and breaking down fat, protein and carbohydrates. Nuts, meat, whole grains, and legumes all contain niacin.

Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid helps against mucosal diseases and with the breakdown of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It is found in meat, vegetables and whole grain products.



Calcium helps build bones and teeth and regulate the heartbeat and other muscle contractions. Calcium is particularly important for children because their skeleton is still being built. All dairy products, nuts, calcium-rich mineral water and dark green vegetables e.g. broccoli are good sources of calcium.


Chloride regulates the water and acid-base balance. Our primary source of chloride is table or sea salt.


Potassium plays a major role in regulating the water balance. It is also important for the heart to function. Potassium is found in dairy products, bananas, potatoes, meat, and fish.


Magnesium lowers the cholesterol level, prevents cramps and has a regulating effect on stress. Nuts, bananas, vegetables, oatmeal, and other grain products contain magnesium.


Sodium is involved in the regulation of the water balance and blood pressure and is found in ham, meat and individual vegetables.


Phosphorus contributes to the production of energy and the maintenance of bones and teeth. It is found in potatoes, bread, milk, and meat.

Trace elements


Iron is a component of the red blood pigment and plays a key role in the supply of oxygen. It is found mainly in meat, but also in whole grain products, nuts and green vegetables. The absorption of iron from animal products is easier for the body. If you are on a vegetarian diet, make sure you have an adequate supply of iron. Food containing iron should also include an ingredient or side dish rich in vitamin C (e.g. an orange or kiwi for dessert), as vitamin C optimizes iron absorption.


Fluoride is partly responsible for the health of bones and teeth as well as wound healing. In addition to using toothpaste containing fluoride, it is also consumed through mineral water and tea. Another source can be fluoridated table salt.


Iodine contributes to the optimal functioning of the thyroid gland and thus to a balanced hormonal balance. In Germany, measures have been taken to improve the iodine supply.

So were z. B. Feed enriched with iodine, so that milk, eggs and meat now contain more iodine than in the past. However, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the iodine supply has been falling again since 2020. Overall, the consumption of sea fish, milk and dairy products as well as the use of iodized table salt contribute to an optimal iodine supply.

For more information on iodine supply, see Iodine supply is in decline again in Germany.


Selenium is involved in various metabolic processes. It binds free radicals, is part of proteins and is partly responsible for tissue elasticity. It can be found in animal products and nuts.


Zinc strengthens the immune system and is important for the skin and connective tissue. Zinc is found in grains, pulses, offal, and dairy products.