Preventative Care

Premier Physician Network providers answer frequently asked questions about preventative care.

What is the difference between vitamins and minerals?

Dr. Mark Williams discusses the difference between vitamins and minerals. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What is the difference between vitamins and minerals?

So the difference between vitamins and minerals are that minerals are inorganic, so, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, those are minerals. Vitamins are organic materials, so either plants or animals make vitamins. So, for instance, vitamin D or vitamin E or vitamin C, you've heard of vitamin C coming from oranges, well oranges make vitamin C out of chemicals they get out of the soil. Humans produce vitamin D from sunlight shining on your skin, and there's a chemical reaction that allows you to produce vitamin D. Or you can get vitamin D through supplementation.

Minerals and vitamins are important catalysts in different kind of chemical reactions that are going into your body and so they support your health. And it's important to make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals. Generally, if you're eating a normal western diet, most of our food is fortified with the appropriate vitamins and minerals that you need. There's very rare diseases that people cannot absorb certain vitamins and minerals, and so those could be diagnosed if necessary. But essentially, if you're eating normal American food, you should be okay.


Vitamins and minerals are both nutrients that the body needs to grow and develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Vitamins are organic substances, meaning they are made by plants or animals, according to the CDC.

Minerals, however, are inorganic elements, which mean they come from the earth, soil and water and are absorbed by plants. We absorb minerals from the plants we eat, according to the CDC.

For more information about how vitamins and minerals are different, talk with your physician.

Learn more:

Source: Suzanne Bell, MD, Vandalia Family Care; Tracie Bolden, MD, Fairfield Road Physician Offices; Nicholas Davis, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Timothy Markus, MD, Dayton Heart Center; Allison Mendenhall, PA-C, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Katrina Paulding, MD, Samaritan North Family Physicians; Breanna Veal, PA-C, Walden Ponds Primary Care: James Halderman, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine; Ziad Khatib, MD, Fairfield Road Physicians; Christopher Lauricella, DO, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Marcus Washington, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine; Ann DeClue, MD, Ann DeClue, MD; Angelia Mickle, DNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Leelmohan Ravikumar, MD, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Aaron Block, MD, MPH, Franklin Family Practice; Mansi Amin, DO, SureCare Medical Center, Tammy Taylor, DO, The Pediatric Group; Nicholas Davis, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine; Mark Williams, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine