Vitamins and lipid metabolism

Acta Vitaminol Enzymol. 1982;4(1-2):105-14.


Vitamins play an essential role in lipid metabolism reactions and their presence is therefore absolutely necessary for these reaction to occur. The effect of pantothenic acid, niacin and riboflavin is here described. By transformation into coenzymes these vitamins are involved in fatty acid synthesis and oxidation reactions. Other vitamins, like vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids influence lipid metabolism by different mechanisms. Coenzyme B12 and folate coenzyme provide to balance, by methionine synthesis, the pool of methyl radicals necessary for phospholipid biosynthesis. By its involvement in the microsomal respiratory chain, vitamin C promotes cholesterol transformation into bile acids. The essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid, are directly connected with cholesterol transport and plasma cholesterol decrease. It is suggested that many lipid metabolism disorders may be due to primary and secondary hypovitaminosis. Nicotinic acid and its derivatives have a particular pharmacological effect since they cause a HDL increase with LDL decrease and improve cholesterol transfer from LDL to HDL. Results of several experiments on the influence of pantothenic acid on polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism are eventually reported, and these data are related to the effect of the administration of vitamin C at high doses on total cholesterol, triglyceride, lipoprotein, vitamin C and fatty acids of the different plasma lipid fractions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / physiology
  • Avitaminosis / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Coenzymes / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Folic Acid / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Niacin / physiology*
  • Pantothenic Acid / physiology*
  • Riboflavin / physiology*
  • Vitamins / physiology*


  • Coenzymes
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Vitamins
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Riboflavin