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Water-Soluble vs. Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Now that cold and flu season is headed our way, I'm sure many of you are filing up on your fair share of vitamin C. You've probably heard that if you take too much, you just end up passing the excess. This doesn't happen with all vitamins, only ones that are water soluble. Vitamin C and all eight B vitamins are water soluble, which means water is required for their absorption. These nine vitamins are found mostly in fruits, veggies, and grains. You need to ingest water soluble vitamins every day, because your body metabolizes what it can, and the excess is flushed out as waste when you go to the bathroom.

On the other side of the spectrum are fat-soluble vitamins. To find out how they differ from their water-soluble brethren, just

.

Unlike water-soluble vitamins that you need to consume daily, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your liver and fatty tissues, and are eliminated much more slowly. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, and are mostly found in fatty foods such as meat, dairy, vegetable oils, and oily fish. You have to include a little fat in your diet in order to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Since they're stored in your body, supplements of these vitamins are not really necessary. Actually if you consume excessive amounts of fat-soluble vitamins, they can be harmful to your body, so pay close attention to your diet.

Fit's Tip: If you want to know how much you should be getting of each, click on the name of the vitamin above.

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Join The Conversation
michlny michlny 7 years
I think Vitamin D supplements are a very good idea. Especially for those of us who live in climates where the sun doesn't shine 365 days a year.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i never know what the right amount to take is...so i'm glad that you share posts like this. i never know if i'm taking too much or what the issues are with too much so thank you for sharing this.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Good to know! Also, just FYI--you're better off getting your vitamin A in the form of beta carotene rather than pure vitamin A because you're less likely to ingest toxic amounts of it. Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body and not excreted, you're more likely to get toxic levels of them if you take too many supplements. Polar bear's liver has toxic amounts of vitamin A...I've heard that wolves instinctively leave the liver of a polar bear carcass if they kill one because they know it's toxic. Kinda cool, if you ask me.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Good to know! Also, just FYI--you're better off getting your vitamin A in the form of beta carotene rather than pure vitamin A because you're less likely to ingest toxic amounts of it. Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body and not excreted, you're more likely to get toxic levels of them if you take too many supplements. Polar bear's liver has toxic amounts of vitamin A...I've heard that wolves instinctively leave the liver of a polar bear carcass if they kill one because they know it's toxic. Kinda cool, if you ask me.
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