Casimir Funk was born in Poland in 1884.He moved to Switzerland and worked as a biochemist. Biochemists work on the chemical reactions in living things. Casimir Funk discovered four substances which seemed to have very important jobs in the body. He realised that the substances were needed to keep people healthy and to stop them getting diseases. Casimir thought all the substances came from the same chemical family, the amines. These chemicals all have nitrogen and hydrogen atoms in their molecules, often as an
-NH2 group. He announced his discovery in 1912. Casimir called the substances ‘vital amines’. He put the two words together making ‘vitamines’ and later the ‘e’ was taken away making ‘vitamins’. The vitamins Casimir discovered are now called B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), C (ascorbic acid) and D (cholecalciferol). They are not all amines. Now, at least 15 different vitamins are known. Casimir died in 1967 in the USA.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine hydrochloride)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
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