a group of complex vitamins

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Ryovzx09

Senior Member
Mandarin-China
Hi guys,

I was reading an article about skin cancer and stopped at this sentence 'Our bodies are protected from skin cancer by the regulation of a group of complex vitamins (Vitamin D) and immune process.' I was wondering if the word 'complex' simply means 'hard to understand' or maybe if I am overthinking. I thought it means something else because I can't get my head around how it's used before the word 'vitamins' to mean the substance itself that our body needs is hard to understand.

But I've looked it up in the dictionary as to what 'complex' means either as a noun or an adjective, and found nothing suitable for the sentence other than 'hard to understand'.
 
  • Greyfriar

    Senior Member
    Hello

    I have seen bottles of tablets in my pharmacy labelled "Vitamin B Complex" .
    There are many different vitamins which come under the B group which make it a complex vitamin. I expect the same goes for vitamin D.

    It doesn't mean hard to understand.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I doubt that "complex" means complicated.
    I wouldn't rule that out completely.
    It may not be the vitamin itself that is complicated, but it acts on and interacts with cells in our body in a way that is not obvious and maybe not even fully understood yet, i.e. in a complicated or complex way.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I think it's an error. (The word process should be plural anyway :))

    I've not seen the word complex used as a simple adjective before vitamins before. Complex as a simple adjective typically means "not simple" in terms of molecular structure. The "B-complex" (noun) is itself made up of a number of individual vitamins. From the link in #2
    Each member of the B-complex has a unique structure
    and "B-complex" is the adjective that describes them.
    Megadoses of B-complex vitamins sometimes taken to combat everyday stress,
    Some refer to the Vitamin D complex but not nearly as often as the B-complex perhaps because there are fewer members Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids whose structures are all very similar (in contrast the the B vitamins whose structures vary widely)
    A minimalist re-write:
    'Our bodies are protected from skin cancer by the regulation of a complex of vitamins (Vitamin D) and immune processes.'
     

    Ryovzx09

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    ''Two Newcastle scientists are setting themselves to open our eyes to the medical truth by claiming that natural sunlight may help prevent skin cancer. The research is likely to be unwelcome in some traditional medical research circles. It is based on a new theory that our bodies are protected from skin cancer by the regulation of a group of complex vitamins (Vitamin D) and immune process. The sunscreens, artificial light and drugs could all unfavorably affect the production of these vitamins and increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.''

    This is the context of the sentence I quoted in the opening post. Does it provide anything different to understanding 'complex'?
     

    Ryovzx09

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    Hello

    I have seen bottles of tablets in my pharmacy labelled "Vitamin B Complex" .
    There are many different vitamins which come under the B group which make it a complex vitamin. I expect the same goes for vitamin D.

    It doesn't mean hard to understand.
    Right, I found there's also a group of vitamin D on Wikipedia, which I didn't know about.
     

    Ryovzx09

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    I wouldn't rule that out completely.
    It may not be the vitamin itself that is complicated, but it acts on and interacts with cells in our body in a way that is not obvious and maybe not even fully understood yet, i.e. in a complicated or complex way.
    That's another way of looking at it. Thanks.
     

    Ryovzx09

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    I think it's an error. (The word process should be plural anyway :))
    A minimalist re-write:
    'Our bodies are protected from skin cancer by the regulation of a complex of vitamins (Vitamin D) and immune processes.'
    Thanks for the proofreading. ;)
    Does the 'complex' in your rewritten version of the sentence mean something like 'a group of similar/related things'?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Since the sentence has grammatical errors it's hard to tell what the real intention is. I think either it's a proofreading error and either "group" or "complex" should have been removed (and the sentence adjusted) or the writer didn't understand what he was writing about.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The source of the text was not provided. Oddly, the only sources I could find through a Google search are Chinese web sites where this text is used for a "fill the gaps" test.
     

    Ryovzx09

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    The source of the text was not provided. Oddly, the only sources I could find through a Google search are Chinese web sites where this text is used for a "fill the gaps" test.
    You got it there. The article was from a mock exam for students preparing for the national college entrance examination in China, Shanghai in particular, and I didn't expect there to be an error like this. :(
     

    Ryovzx09

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    Since the sentence has grammatical errors it's hard to tell what the real intention is. I think either it's a proofreading error and either "group" or "complex" should have been removed (and the sentence adjusted) or the writer didn't understand what he was writing about.
    Okay, I'll accept this as an explanation. :thumbsup:
     
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