Vitamin, Pro-vitamin, Antivitamin

Vitamin, Provitamin, Antivitamin are often confusing terms. So, here, we try to explain these (Vitamin, Provitamin, Antivitamin) terms very easily.

Vitamin, Provitamin, Antivitamin: What the meaning of these terms?


Vitamins are organic compounds which are not synthesized within the body except vitamin D, they are found in minute’s amount in natural foodstuffs, or sometimes they produced synthetically. They help in the maintenance of metabolic functions. Thus, the deficiency of a particular vitamin causes specific diseases which can only cure by the intake of that vitamin.

The term ‘Vitamin’ comes from the Latin word ‘vita’ (life) and English word ‘amine’. In 1912, Funk found that there is some compound in the food which prevents beriberi, scurvy, pellagra, rickets etc. He notices that all of these compounds contain nitrogen. Thus, he calls such compounds as “vitamine” (vita +amine). But later, it  was found that all such other compounds do not contain nitrogen and therefore the term “vitamine” was modified to ‘vitamin’.

For example, Vitamin A, B complex, C, D,E,K, and vitamin P etc.


Provitamins are biologically inactive compounds which are quite similar to the vitamin in structure and converted easily into active vitamins in vivo.

For example of provitamin

  • β-carotene is provitamin for vitamin A,
  • Ergosterol is provitamin for the vitamin D2


Antivitamin is a chemical compound, similar in chemical structure to a vitamin, which may physically replace the vitamin in some biological system, rendering the system biologically inactive. They act by blocking the formation of some enzyme and co-enzyme.

Moreover, they are useful in vitamin research. because they use to produce vitamin deficiencies in an animal without feeding them a vitamin-free diet.

For an example of antivitamin

  • Sulphanilamides are antivitamins for p-amino benzoic acid.

In conclusion, this article about “Vitamin, Provitamin, Antivitamin” describe precisely. Are these terms (Vitamin, Provitamin, Antivitamin) clear now? If any confusion about Vitamin, Provitamin, Antivitamin please leave a comment below.

You may read: