Your Short Guide to Fat-Soluble Vitamins

June 22, 2023

What are the various fat-soluble vitamins? This guide to fat-soluble vitamins will explain which nutrients are included.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins K, E, D, and A comprise fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are so-called since they require dietary fat for their absorption. They are not soluble in water.

Vitamins are essential substances for the body since they help it to function correctly. Vitamins are divided into 2 kinds – fat-soluble and water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include C and B. Vitamins are obtained via food. However, there is one vitamin that may not come from food – Vitamin D.

If you are deficient in vitamins, then you may need to take vitamin supplements. Fat-soluble vitamins are best absorbed with enough dietary fats.

Here is a short guide to fat-soluble vitamins:


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the active form is called retinal. The body needs vitamin A for a range of functions including reproduction, cell, growth, immunity, and vision.

We can obtain beta-carotene and retinol in the foods that we eat. These are then converted into retinal. You may find these nutrients in foods like fortified breakfast cereals, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, carrots, leafy green vegetables, sweet potato, dairy products, beef liver, and fish liver oil.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D does not comprise one single compound. There are 2 naturally occurring forms of vitamin D which together are called calciferol. Calciferol is absorbed in the blood where it is then converted into calcitriol.

There are 2 main forms of naturally occurring vitamin D. One is D3 which you can obtain from animal fats. The other form is D2 which is obtained from plants like mushrooms. Vitamin D has a range of roles in the body including maintenance of bone health and supporting the immune system.

Although the sun is a major source of vitamin D, most people will also need to consume it from food sources to reach the amounts required by the body. Main food sources of vitamin D include eggs, beef liver, fortified dairy products, fish oils, and oily fish.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a major antioxidant that the body relies on to neutralize free radicals.

Free radicals are dangerously unstable particles that can harm cells in your body and thus cause chronic disease. Hence, vitamin E can protect you from various diseases by controlling free radicals. Wheat germ oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin E.


Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for the blood to clot. This prevents excessive bleeding. You can obtain vitamin K from leafy green vegetables, fermented foods, and animal foods.

Besides blood clotting, vitamin K can serve other key functions like reducing the risk of heart disease and improving bone health.


Bottom Line

The short guide to fat-soluble vitamins showed you the different kinds of vitamins that the body needs to function properly. Make sure that you consume natural food sources of these fat-soluble vitamins to ensure that you are getting optimal amounts.

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