Fat Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are best absorbed in the presence of fat. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in our liver and fat cells for later use. Therefore, normally only small amounts of vitamins A, D, E, and K are needed in the diet to maintain our health. Therefore, under normal circumstances, fat-soluble vitamins are micronutrients that are NOT needed in the diet every day. In fact, an overdose of fat-soluble vitamins can be toxic and lead to health problems.
Vitamin A (retinol) has many different roles in the body including helping the eyes adjust to light changes. It plays a role in bone growth, reproduction, cell division, and immune system function. In addition, it keep various membranes moist including the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. It also helps keep the eyes and skin moist.
Sources: Dark Leafy Green Vegetables, Fish, Liver, Dairy Products, and Orange Vegetables (Carrots, Pumpkins, Squash)
Vitamin D has an important role in the use of calcium and phosphorus. This fat-soluble vitamin increases the amount of calcium absorbed during digestion. It helps form and maintain strong bones and teeth. The body produces vitamin D in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. So, 10 -15 minutes of sunlight exposure a day will help us get our daily dose of vitamin D.
Sources: Vitamin D Fortified Dairy Products, Herring, Salmon, Sardines, and Cod Liver Oil.
Vitamin E (tocopherol) is a potent antioxidant. So much so that it is often used as a natural preservative in foods and in natural skin care products. In the body, vitamin E protects the cells from the damage caused by free radical production. Free radicals are naturally occurring byproducts that form when our body convert the food we eat into energy. It can also help prevent heart disease and certain cancers.
Sources: Fruits, Vegetables, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds
Interesting, vitamin K is naturally produced by the bacteria that is found in the intestines. Therefore, people on antibiotics may temporarily lack vitamin K. Nevertheless, this fat-soluble vitamin plays a role in making proteins for healthy bones and normal blood clotting. Therefore, vitamin K plays an important role in wound healing and preventing excessive bleeding.
Source: The bacteria in our gut produces vitamin K.
The recommended daily dose of fat soluble vitamins vary according to sex, age, culture, and in some cases even race. Therefore, you should consult a physician before supplementing your diet with fat-soluble vitamins.