Vitamins Hang Out in Water and Fat
There are two types of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble.
When you eat foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins, the vitamins are stored in the fat tissues in your body and in your liver. They wait around in your body fat until your body needs them.
Fat-soluble vitamins are happy to stay stored in your body for awhile — some stay for a few days, some for up to 6 months! Then, when it's time for them to be used, special carriers in your body take them to where they're needed. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins are different. When you eat foods that have water-soluble vitamins, the vitamins don't get stored as much in your body. Instead, they travel through your bloodstream. Whatever your body doesn't use comes out when you urinate.
So these kinds of vitamins need to be replaced often because they don't stick around! This crowd of vitamins includes vitamin C and the big group of B vitamins — B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), niacin, B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, B12 (cobalamine), biotin, and pantothenic acid.
Taken from kidshealth.org
Quick Facts On Fat-Soluble Vitamins...
- Small amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K are needed to maintain good health.
- Foods that contain these vitamins will not lose them when cooked.
- The body does not need these every day and stores them in the liver when not used.
- Most people do not need vitamin supplements.
- Megadoses of vitamins A, D, E or K can be toxic and lead to health problems.
Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored for long periods, they generally pose a greater risk for toxicity than water-soluble vitamins when consumed in excess. Eating a normal, well-balanced diet will not lead to toxicity in otherwise healthy individuals. However, taking vitamin supplements that contain mega doses of vitamins A, D, E and K may lead to toxicity. Remember, the body only needs small amounts of any vitamin.
While diseases caused by a lack of fat-soluble vitamins are rare in the United States, symptoms of mild deficiency can develop without adequate amounts of vitamins in the diet. Additionally, some health problems may decrease the absorption of fat, and in turn, decrease the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Consult your doctor about this.
Quick Facts on Water-Soluble Vitamins...
- B-complex vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble vitamins that are not stored in the body and must be replaced each day.
- These vitamins are easily destroyed or washed out during food storage and preparation.
- The B-complex group is found in a variety of foods: cereal grains, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, legumes and fresh vegetables.
- Citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C.
- Use of megadoses of vitamins is not recommended.
Vitamins are essential nutrients found in foods. The requirements are small but they perform specific and vital functions essential for maintaining health.
Water-soluble vitamins are easily destroyed or washed out during food storage or preparation. Proper storage and preparation of food can minimize vitamin loss. To reduce vitamin loss, refrigerate fresh produce, keep milk and grains away from strong light, and use the cooking water from vegetables to prepare soups.
More information concerning what these vitamins do will be soon to follow.