A vitamin by any other name...
Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Chris Ryder, University of Reading
Fortunately, both of these are more often abbreviated to ALA and DHA respectively, which is a good start, but in fact you may know them both by a single name that we're all much more familiar with: Omega-3. This is what food manufacturers are more likely to use on their packaging.
It's obvious why they prefer Omega-3 to those intimidating scientific names. But what about other substances? You might know that there are many types of B vitamin, but did you know that most of them have more than one name? Here's a quick guide to the alternatives:
Vitamin B1 = thiamine
Vitamin B2 = niacin
Vitamin B3 = riboflavin
Vitamin B5 = pantothenic acid
Vitamin B7 = biotin
Vitamin B9 = folate or folic acid
Vitamin B12 = cobalamin
You might be wondering where all the other numbers are. Well, B6 doesn’t have any alternative names – it's just plain Vitamin B6. And Vitamins B4, B8, B10 and B11 … don't exist! A vitamin by any other name might still contribute to the maintenance of normal bones, but that doesn't mean it isn't potentially confusing between products.
Did you already know these alternatives? Are there any other alternative names that have confused you? Do you think these could all be made clearer to consumers? Let us know your thoughts by getting in touch using the Contact Us link above.