8 Water-Soluble Vitamins and Where to Find Them

The water-soluble vitamins are vital for many of the functions your body needs to stay healthy, including energy production and immune system function.

Your body doesn't store most of the water-soluble vitamins very long, so they need to be replenished daily. Take a tour through the water-soluble vitamins, where to find them, and their benefits.


Vitamin C


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, and potatoes. You need vitamin C for a healthy immune system, healthy skin in the form of collagen, and protein metabolism. Vitamin C also improves the absorption of iron from plants, also known has non-heme iron. A vitamin C deficiency is called scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue, tissue weakness, and blood vessel weakness. A vitamin C deficiency can also reduce immune system function. The daily value, or recommended daily intake (found on food labels set by the FDA) is 90 mg per day.



English muffin

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is found in rice and other whole-grain and fortified bread and cereals, meat, and fish. Thiamine is needed for energy metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and therefore is responsible for the growth, development, and function of cells in the body. The most common deficiency is called beriberi where nerves are damaged at the end of the hands and feet. The daily value for thiamin is 1.2 mg per day.



Cottage cheese

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Riboflavin is part of two important enzymes responsible for energy production, cell function and development, and metabolism of drugs, fat, and steroids. A riboflavin deficiency is called ariboflavionsis, which results in skin disorders, swelling of mouth and throat, hair loss, itchy and red eyes. The daily value for riboflavin is 1.3 mg. Riboflavin is found in dairy products, lean meats, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, fortified breads, and cereals.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Niacin, also called vitamin B3, is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts, legumes, and eggs. Niacin is part of an important enzyme responsible for more than 400 reactions in the body, more than any other vitamin. Some of these functions include carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, gene function, synthesis of cholesterol, and antioxidant function in cells. Severe deficiency is called pellagra, which is characterized by discolored skin, red tongue, gastrointestinal issues, depression, and loss of memory. The daily value for niacin is 16 mg. Niacin is also available as a dietary supplement, but when taken in large amounts you may feel a niacin flush.


Pantothenic Acid

Mushrooms cropped

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is found in a wide variety of foods including organ meats, eggs, fish and shellfish, poultry, legumes, whole grains, dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, avocados, and mushrooms. You need pantothenic acid For fat and protein metabolism. Pantothenic acid deficiencies are very rare and are usually accompanied by other B-vitamin deficiencies. This makes identifying the characterizations of pantothenic acid deficiency difficult. The daily value is 5 mg per day.


Vitamin B6


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is found in a variety of foods such as fish, meat, beans and legumes and many vegetables. Vitamin B6 is responsible for over 100 enzyme reactions with most reactions related to protein metabolism and to a lesser degree carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Vitamin B6 also has a role in cognitive development, immune function, and hemoglobin formation. Vitamin 6 deficiencies are rare and are usually accompanied with other B-vitamin deficiencies. Common characterizations include anemia, dermatitis with scaling and cracking of the mouth, swollen tongue, and weakened immune system. The daily value is 1.7 mg.


Folate and Folic Acid

Spinach and strawberries are high in folate.
James And James / Getty Images

Folate is found in leafy green vegetables, oranges and strawberries, legumes and whole grains. Folate is responsible for being a part of many enzymes that help with the synthesis of the genetic genes like DNA. It also assists in the metabolism of amino acids. Deficiency of this vitamin is rare and usually associated with poor diet, alcoholism, or absorption issues. A deficiency is most associated with birth defects. The daily value is 400 mcg.


Vitamin B12


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Vitamin B12 is found in meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, but not in plant-based foods so vegans are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. You need vitamin B12 for a healthy nervous system, blood cell production, and DNA synthesis. A vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, tingling and/or numbness, and poor memory. The daily value is 2.4 mcg.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Vitamin C. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

  2. Thiamin. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

  3. Riboflavin. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

  4. Niacin. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

  5. Folate. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

  6. Vitamin B12. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.