What are Fat-Soluble Vitamins?
A vitamin is essential for many biological functions in the body. Vitamins A, D, E and K, are fat soluable vitamins. What does that mean? Fat soluble means that you need to consume foods or supplements that contain these vitamins or with a source of fat in order for your body to absorb and use these vitamins. If a person consumes appropriate amounts of vitamins rich foods or supplements properly, studies show that it may prevent many common diseases and disorders.
Deficiency in these vitamins (especially in A & D) have been linked to:
+ night blindness
+ type II diabetes
+ immune system disorders
Sources of Vitamin A include:
- Cod liver oil
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Orange or yellow vegetables and fruits
Vitamin A has been shown to be needed for: Eye health, regulation of metabolism and has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumor cells in vitro. A deficiency has been linked to: dry skin and an immune system that has a decreased ability to eliminate or fight infections.
Sources of Vitamin D Include:
- Fatty fish (tuna, mackerel or salmon)
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
Vitamin D has been shown to be needed for functions such as: mood regulation, brain development and function, and bone health. Also, a deficiency of Vitamin D has been linked to soft bones or bone fractures. It’s also been correlated with risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Vitamin D2 is provided from plant sources and Vitamin D3 is from animal protein sources or made in the body with proper sun exposure.
Sources of Vitamin E Include:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pine Nuts
A deficiency of Vitamin E has been linked to higher instances of heart disease.
A person lacking in sufficient Vitamin E could potentially be suffering from a lack of proper immune function, anti-coagulation of blood or lessened interaction between cells in the body.
Sources of Vitamin K Include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Spring onions
- Brussel sprouts
- Produced by fermented foods
Deficiency of Vitamin K has been linked to: excessive bleeding, varicose veins or Alzheimers Disease
Vitamin K is used in the body for prevention of hardened arteries and gut health.
An easy way to incorporate fat soluble vitamins and healthy fats into your diet is to cook your veggies with healthy fats. Not only will they taste better, you will reap the benefit of the nutrients that are absorbed. If you need a few ideas for healthy sources of fat to cook with, visit my blog post here.
(1) Albahrani, Ali A, and Ronda F Greaves. “Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement.” The Clinical Biochemist. Reviews, The Australian Association of Clinical Biochemists, Feb. 2016, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810759/#!po=0.625000.
(2) National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. “Fat-Soluble Vitamins.” Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1989, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218749/.