Would aspirin qualify as a vitamin?

Would aspirin qualify as a vitamin?

It seems to be similar to other ones. It occurs naturally (in willow trees), has specific uses in the body (keeping arthritis at bay, stopping heart clots, etc.), and is sold over the counter at both herbal shops and hospital pharmacies. What more is required, a letter? How about M, is there already a vitamin M?

Seriously: what are the rules to get into the alphabet club and would aspirin qualify?

A vitamin is supposed to be an essential nutrient, not any naturally occurring chemical. Lack of a vitamin usually results in some deficiency disease (scurvey, beriberi, ricketts, night blindness, etc.).

Asprin isn’t essential.

Most vitamins, especially the B’s, have just vague deficiency symptoms. And some only appear in strange vegetables that weren’t available in all the continents supporting humans. Did the Maori have broccoli? Not bloody likely. But they do have arthritis, headaches, and blood clots. Time for willow tea.:slight_smile:

tshirts, most of the Maori probably were dead before they could get arthritis, headaches, and blood clots. However if they got past that stage they’d pick up the B complex in LIVER. Aren’t you glad you aren’t a Maori?

How did you get this into Great Debates?

Oops! “Confoozled!”

See, that’s what happens when you forget your vitamins.:slight_smile:

I’m doing a talk on vitamins (they push these wonderful tasks onto us interns) tomorrow night, so I’ll post what I’m reading…

“Vitamins are non-caloric, organic, chemical compounds occuring in minute quantities in foods. They are needed in very small amounts in the diet. They act with each other and other nutrients in coordinating body functions necessary for life and growth.”

Although I don’t completely agree with the first statement(as not all vitamins are easily obtained from foods, such as Vitamin D, obtained mainly from the sun and fortified milk, this is basically what vitamins are and do. Aspirin is not necessary for life and growth.

IIRC the word “vitamin” comes from “vital amines” and all amines have a nitrogen atom; aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid and contains no nitrogen.

Excerpt from an article at the Encyclopedia Britannica:

I believe vitamins are just loosely defined as organic compounds that are essential to human life right now. Aspirin is certainly not essential for human life, so that throws it out of the category right there. Most vitamins cannot be produced within the body, with exception of vitamin D and K. These two are still called vitamins because they are not always generated in sufficient quantities and must be supplemented through diet. See the Encyclopedia Britannica article above for more details.

I guess a little research doesn’t hurt, now and then.

Thank you, Zor.

If aspirin gets to be vitamin M, then toothpaste should be vitamin N.

B complex deficiencies can be very serious. Look up Pellagra on a search engine. It’s a condition that comes about from Niacin deficiency and causes schizophrenia-like symptoms and death.


You skipped Biotin.


Huh?!? Can’t say I’ve heard that one before… Could you elaborate?

Sunlight on your skin will metabolize vitamin D..

I’ve often wondered how long it’ll take before an new variety of Homo Sapiens evolves that requires caffeine as much as it requires ascorbic acid. It’s such a common part of our diet (at least in my part of the world), and regular users get such violent reactions to the lack, that it isn’t hard to forsee a time when it isn’t just an addictive substance, it’s a new vitamin.

As I’m here in Seattle, it seems like we could call it vitamin S (for Starbuck’s).

It would never occur, since vitamins serve primarily metabolic function, while caffein operates by increasing the bodie’s sensitivity to certain neurotransmitter. While vitamins serve a observable, quantifiable metabolic function, caffein serves a purely neurological one, and thus would always be classified as a drug. Caffein doesn’t give you more energy, it merely makes you think you have more energy

Sorry to particpate in this hijacking, you may return to your regularly scheduled discussion

Biotin belongs in the vitamin B family, LabRat :wink:

This is great! Now we have 3 new vitamins, aspirin, toothpaste, and caffeine.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without caffeine.
Doing so gives me headaches. :slight_smile:

I have to agree with tshirts. Too bad he was banned for trying to make aspirin a vitamin! Go figure.

This is great! Now we have 3 new vitamins, aspirin, toothpaste, and caffeine.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without caffeine.
Doing so gives me headaches.