vita-, vito-, vit- +

(Latin: life, living, pertaining to life, essential to life)

1. The theory, or doctrine, that life processes arise from or contain a non-material vital principle and cannot be explained entirely as physical and chemical phenomena.
2. The doctrine that all the functions of a living organism are due to an unknown vital principle distinct from all chemical and physical forces.
3. A former theory that life depends on a unique force and can not be reduced to chemical and physical explanations.
Relating to a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining.
1. Abundant physical and mental energy, usually combined with a wholehearted and joyous approach to situations and activities.
2. A capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence: We thought that the vitality of our educational institution would continue.
3. The nonmaterial force that, according to vitalism, distinguishes the living from the nonliving.

It is possible that a man could live twice as long if he didn't spend the first half of his life acquiring habits that shorten the other half.

—E.C. McKenzie
1. The process of making more lively or vigorous; the invigoration of someone or something.
2. Having given life to or an arousal to an activity.
3. Endowment with life and animation.
vitalize, vitalizes, vitalized, vitalizing (verb forms)
1. To make more lively or vigorous; to invigorate.
2. To cause someone or something to live.
3. To give life to; to rouse to activity.
4. To endow with life; to animate.
Someone who imparts energy and vitality and spirit to other people.
1. To a vital degree, or extremely important and necessary, or indispensable to the survival or continuing effectiveness of something.
2. Characterized by being required for the continuation of life.
1. The parts necessary to life; such as, the heart and brain.
2. The parts essential to the health, maintenance, etc. of anything.
Vitam regit fortuna non sapientia. (Latin proverb)
Translation: "Chance, not wisdom, governs human life."

Another interpretation: "Life is mostly a matter of luck."

Any dietary factor or other substance that possesses the activity of a given vitamin or acts to counteract a vitamin deficiency; such as, carotenoid in human subjects.

The primary known role of carotenoids is to act as a source of vitamin A in the diet and fruits and vegetables are the main sources of carotenoids in the human diet.

1. Any of various unrelated organic substances that occur in many foods in small amounts and which are necessary in trace amounts for the normal metabolic functioning of the body. They may be water-soluble or fat-soluble.
2. An organic substance essential in small quantities to the metabolism in most animals.

Vitamins are found in minute quantities in food, in some cases are produced by the body, and are also produced synthetically.

3. Any of various fat-soluble or water-soluble organic substances essential in minute amounts for normal growth and activity of the body and obtained naturally from plant and animal foods.
4. Any of a group of complex organic substances found in minute quantities in most natural foodstuffs, and closely associated with the maintenance of normal physiological functions in man and animals.
5. Etymology: originally it was vitamine (1912) as coined by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967), from Latin vita, "life" + amine, because vitamins were thought to contain amino acids.

The terminal -e was formally deleted when scientists learned the true nature of the vitamin substance. The suffix -in was acceptable because it was used for neutral substances of undefined composition. The lettering system of nomenclature (Vitamin A, B, C, etc.) was introduced at about the same time the suffix change was made.

vitamin loss
Loss of vitamin content in food products because of vitamin instability; especially, in oxidation and during heating.

Methods of preserving foods add to the loss of vitamins. Pickling, salting, curing, or fermenting processes usually cause complete loss of vitamin C.

Commercial canning destroys frokm 50% to 85% of vitamin C contained in peas, lima beans, spinach, and asparagus. Pasteurization, unless special precautions are observed, causes a loss of from 30% to 60% of the vitamin C.

—Based on information from
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary;
F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia; 1997.
vitamin requirements
Organic substances needed in very small quantities by the body for normal growth and maintenance of life, and which play a catalytic and regulatory role in the body's metabolism.
1. The feeding of vitamins to make an individual vigorous or to purportedly prevent or cure a disease.
2. A process of taking or giving vitamins.
The origins or creations of vitamins.

Related life, live-word units: anima-; bio-; -cole; viva-.