The 100-Year History Of Vitamins | Your Brief Timeline

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Vitamins have long been thought necessary for good health and basic activities, although this has not always been the case. How long has it been known that we require vitamins? From where did this aim to improve our health originate?


Let’s take a look at a brief overview before we get into the timeline of vitamins and how they came to be necessary.

With retail sales increasing by more than 300% since 1990, multivitamin tablets have become increasingly popular over the last two decades. Back in the day, it was assumed that there were only three “fundamental nutrients” which are:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats

While the previous three areas are critical, we now know that there are a total of 13 essential vitamins to be aware of.

The History Of Vitamins

The introduction of essential vitamins:

  • 1912: Protein, carbohydrates, fats.
  • 1941: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, D, calcium, iron.
  • 1968: Vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, calcium, iron, magnesium.
  • Present Day: Vitamins A, C, D, E, calcium, eight B vitamins.

1912: The Discovery Of Vitamins

In 1912, a group of researchers began an effort to figure out why so many individuals were becoming sick. It was merely supposed that there were three basic nutrients at the time.

People were cleaning their meals too aggressively, attempting to eliminate all germs, according to the study. This caused nutrients to be removed from the foods as well! According to Casimir Funk (the “father” of vitamins), a lot of illnesses could be avoided if nutrients remained in meals.

1916: The Rise Of Products

When it was recognized that we all require nutrients, a plethora of vitamin goods started to appear. From generic multivitamins to “extremely strong” treatments, all health firms rushed aboard the train. Some were most certainly more genuine than others, to say the least.

1920: Shifting Focus To Specific Vitamins

During the 1920s, vitamin inadequacies became more common. Vitamin A and C sales were up significantly; people thought that a vitamin with one of these components would cure any ailment. This prompted another boost in the multivitamin market, offering false hope based on flimsy evidence.

World War Two

During World War II, it became evident that a significant number of the males were malnourished. As a consequence of this, the government gave out daily supplements for six vitamins and two minerals.

1973: Accessibility To Vitamins

In 1973, “MegaFood” recognized an opportunity to make more “friendly” vitamins. This entailed using non-chemical, plant-based ingredients rather than chemical or artificial additives. There’s a vitamin for everyone!

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