Vitamins are nutrients that your body needs to help it grow and develop normally. Usually, you get all the vitamins you need from food.
If your body doesn't have enough vitamins, you may develop problems. For example, you can get rickets (soft, weak bones) from low levels of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin B-12 or folate can cause low levels of red blood cells.
The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat a variety of foods as part of a balanced diet. Vitamin supplements can help if you are truly deficient. However, taking excess vitamins can harm you.
Your primary care provider can help determine what supplements you need to take, if any.
There are 13 vitamins your body needs. Each one has different functions and comes from a variety of foods and other sources.