Fat- and Water- Soluble Vitamins
According to the textbook “vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in the diet in small amounts to promote and regulate body processes necessary for growth, reproduction, and the maintenance of health.” (Grosvenor & Smolin, Ch. 7 pg. 200) Vitamins are classified into two groups based of their solubility, as some are soluble in water and others are soluble in fat, with these characterizations we are able to know more about how the different types of vitamins are absorbed, transported, excreted, and stored within the body. Your body gets the vitamins it needs through the foods consumed, as almost all foods contain vitamins of some sort, and all food groups contain foods, which are good sources of the various vitamins as well. Vitamins are important to the body as mentioned before; they are essential to help encourage and regulate regular bodily functions. Each vitamin has at least one important function in the body, and it is often that the different types of vitamins work together to ensure the health of a particular organ or system. Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they are found along the fats contained in foods, in which they are also dissolved. Some high nutrient sources of fat-soluble vitamins are animal sources such as fortified milk and margarine, cheese, eggs, butter and liver for vitamin A. Egg yolks, liver, fortified milk and margarine, and sunlight are good sources of vitamin D. Polyunsaturated oils, leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, whole grain products, liver, egg yolk, and nuts and seeds are sources of vitamin E. With leafy green vegetables and milk providing vitamin K. (Healthwise, February 2011) Fat-soluble vitamins provide many benefits to the body. For example, vitamin A is needed for vision and eye health, bone growth, tooth development, reproduction, and immune system regulation. It is also said that the skin along with the eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs depend on vitamin A in order to remain moist. Vitamin D benefits the body by playing a role in how the body absorbs calcium, helping to form and maintain the bones, and contributing to immunity and controlling cell growth. Vitamin E behaves as an antioxidant while protecting vitamins A and C and the red blood cells. All the while Vitamin K is needed for proper blood clotting, while also promoting bone health. Because of all the benefits and functions of fat-soluble vitamins there are many risks associated with deficiency in one or more, such as night blindness, dry corneas, eye infections, poor or abnormal growth, dry skin, impaired immune function, misshapen bones, bowed legs, soft or weak bones, bone or muscle pain, hemorrhage, broken red blood cells, and nerve damage. Because fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the liver and fatty tissues and are excreted from the body much slower than water-soluble vitamins, the risk of toxicity increases which leads to further issues such as headaches, vomiting, hair loss, liver damage, kidney damage, calcium deposits in soft tissues, skin changes, bone pain and fractures, anemia, brain damage and so much more. Water-soluble vitamins on the other hand are vitamins that include the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B, folic acid, vitamin B12) and vitamin C. These vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored in the body; therefore they need to be replaced in the body each day. High nutrient sources of these types of vitamins are all kinds of different foods, such as meat, poultry, pork, fish, whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds, milk and dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and liver. As the case with fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins also have various functions and benefits to the body. The B vitamins function as coenzymes that help the body to obtain energy from food, and vitamin C is responsible for collagen...
References: Bellows, L., & Moore, R. (April 19, 2013). Water Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C. Retrieved from http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09312.html
Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2012). Visualizing Nutrition: Everyday Choices (2nd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Healthwise. (February 4, 2011). Vitamins & Supplements: Vitamins and Their Functions and Sources. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/vitamins-and-their-functions-and-sources
Please join StudyMode to read the full document