Short version: Vitamins are important, but confusing. I am learning to row.
The discovery of chemicals needed to sustain animals (including humans) other than minerals (e.g. salt) and the three macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) is described in this paper. The term vitamins itself was coined by Casimir Funk who formed the portmanteau from Vital Amines. Particularly interesting to me was learning that the advent of the highly useful germ theory of disease led to the assumption that conditions caused by vitamin deficits (e.g. scurvy) were also caused by unknown pathogens, resulting in debates around the existence of these other nutritional compounds. The Wikipedia list of vitamins gives some chemical and medical insight into vitamins. Historically it seems that improvements in chemical extraction, purification, and structural determination led to the intermediate letter based classification we still use today, despite a more precise chemical understanding of these compounds having been achieved.
Also, multivitamins probably don’t do anything useful. Although, in the UK Vitamin D supplementation is useful in certain circumstances, especially winter.
Learning to Row
I am learning to row with City of Oxford Rowing Club. This was the second week of the six week beginners program, and below are photos of our second outing.