Fat Soluble vs. Water Soluble Vitamins
Do you know the difference between fat soluble and water soluble vitamins? Do you know which vitamins are fat soluble and which are water soluble? Does it matter if a vitamin is fat or water soluble? These are all questions I’ll address in this post.
I’ll start first with the definition of soluble, since I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant before writing this. Thefreedictionary.com defines soluble as “that can be dissolved, especially easily dissolved” – so applying that to vitamins I would take that to mean that fat soluble vitamins are easily dissolved in fat and water soluble vitamins are easily dissolved in water.
According to Colorado State University website, fat soluble vitamins “dissolve in fat before they are absorbed in the blood stream to carry out their functions.” Since these vitamins are easily stored in the body, one generally doesn’t need to do lots of additional supplementation if you eat a well-balanced diet. By contrast, water soluble vitamins are removed from your body through your urine and not stored, so these vitamins need to be restocked regularly.
Fat soluble vitamins are: A, D, E and K. The water soluble vitamins are: all of the B vitamins and vitamin C. Food sources for fat soluble vitamins include: leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and carrots (for Vitamin A); whole grain products, nuts, and egg yolks (for Vitamin E); Dark green leafy vegetables (for Vitamin K) and lots of products are fortified with Vitamin D, such as milk and margarine. Food sources for water soluble vitamins include: citrus fruits, strawberries, dark green vegetables and potatoes (for Vitamin C); additionally, a wide assortment of foods contain B-complex vitamins, such as: meat, eggs, milk, and cereal grains.
The Colorado State University website states: “In the United States, toxic or excess levels of vitamin A are of more concern than deficiencies.” This is a reason it’s good to know the difference between fat and water soluble vitamins is so you can be aware of your intake of these different vitamins. That way you can be careful not to get excessive amounts of fat soluble vitamins, since these are actually stored in your body. I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t take a multivitamin, just be aware of the foods your eating in combination with the vitamins you’re taking to make sure you’re not overdoing it.