There are two types of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble. Here we discuss about fat soluble vitamins, their function, importance, deficiency and benefits to our health.
Fat soluble vitamins are stored in our body. They are stored in liver and fatty tissues of the body. There is no need to replace fat soluble vitamins regularly.
As fat soluble vitamins are stored in our body, if we take excess amounts of these vitamins, it may lead to toxicity [Vitamin overdose].
You should not take excess supplements of fat soluble as they may be destructive to health [Health supplements]. Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K.
Fat soluble vitamins:
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is fat soluble and no need to supply regularly as it is stored in our body.
Vitamin A helps in repairing body tissues, helps in maintenance of body’s mucus membranes, helps in maintaining healthy skin and bones, and it is essential for night vision.
Vitamin A deficiency causes rough, dry skin, night blindness, defective teeth and gums, and increased susceptibility to infections. It is found in carrots, apricots, papaya, oranges, tomatoes, spinach, milk, liver, broccoli, sweet potato, cantaloupe, and green leafy vegetables.
Excess intake of vitamin A causes birth defects, loss of appetite, headache, liver damage, nerve damage, nausea, dry skin, bone and joint pains, and abnormal bone growth.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is fat soluble and no need to supply regularly as it is stored in our body. We can get vitamin D when we are exposed to direct sun light. It is necessary for growth, required for teeth and bone formation, maintains stable nervous system, and improves absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus.
Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, tooth decay, muscle weakness, defective bone growth and inadequate absorption of calcium. It is found in milk, liver, egg yolk, salmon fish and tuna fish.
Excess intake of vitamin D causes weak bones and muscles, increased calcium in blood, excessive bleeding, hardening of soft tissues, fatigue, and headaches.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is fat soluble and no need to supply regularly as it is stored in our body. Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and helps in reducing health problems. It protects cell membranes and tissues, necessary for normal growth, protects tissues against damage caused by free radicals, and important for proper functioning of immune system.
Vitamin E deficiency causes dry skin, fat deposits in muscles, hemolytic anemia and poor circulatory performance. It is found in wheat germ, peanuts, almond, green leafy vegetables, legumes, egg yolk, nuts and seeds.
Excess intake of vitamin E causes bleeding interfering with vitamin K and prolongs clotting time.
Vitamin K: Vitamin E is fat soluble and no need to supply regularly as it is stored in our body. It can also be formed by bacteria in the intestines but it is not sufficient for our body. Therefore diet with vitamin K is included. It helps in bone mineralization and clotting the blood.
Vitamin K deficiency causes increased tendency to hemorrhage and diarrhea. It is found in wheat germ, orange, legumes, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, milk, egg yolk, tomatoes, and strawberries.
Excess intake of vitamin K causes jaundice and hemolytic anemia.
It is not necessary to take fat soluble vitamins regularly but you have to check whether you are getting enough vitamins to work your body properly [Importance of vitamins].