Vitamin names
March 14, 2014 4:39 AM   Subscribe

How did vitamins get their names? Like, why is retinol "vitamin A," ascorbic acid "Vitamin C," etc.? Do the letters have any significance?
posted by DoctorFedora to Science & Nature (1 answer total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Terrors of the Table: The Curious History of Nutrition by Walter Gratzer deals with exactly this. A lot of the names are more historical than anything, and the order of discovery plays a big role in why some letters are skipped, why some vitamins have multiple forms (B vitamins, for example), why some were later reclassified or determined to not be vitamins, etc. Wikipedia is a good source too.
posted by Yiggs at 4:54 AM on March 14, 2014 [13 favorites]

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