Fatty soluble vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are the vitamins soluble in organic solvents. After a meal, the fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed like fats. There are four fatty soluble vitamins;
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
To commit this to memory, you can use the acronym ADEK. Small amounts of these vitamins are required in the body for normal growth, reproduction, and general health maintenance.
Vitamin A is required for the maintenance of general vision and healthy mucous membranes. Vitamin A comes from two sources, retinoids, which naturally occur in foods of animal origin like liver, butter, whole milk, and eggs, and carotenoids, which naturally occurs in plants.
Vitamin D is another vitamin that can be acquired through the diet or naturally by exposing oneself to sunlight. The active form of vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine and promotes bone mineralization. Vitamin D also occurs naturally in animal foods like liver, butter, fish, and egg yolks.
Vitamin D is an antioxidant that protects polyunsaturated fatty acids from oxidative destruction in the cell membrane. Vegetable oils are very rich in vitamin D. Other sources of vitamin D are nuts, seeds, whole grains, and wheat germ.
Vitamin K is a clotting factor that protects our bodies from excessive bleeding after injuries. Vitamin K can be obtained from the diet or synthesized by normal intestinal flora. It can be obtained from leafy greens, meat, and fruits.
Water-soluble vitamins include ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pyridoxine, folacin, vitamin B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid. Water-soluble vitamins are soluble in water and not organic solvents.
Vitamin C is required to synthesize connective tissue proteins, and it is found in citrus fruits and dark green vegetables.
Thiamin forms thiamin pyrophosphatase, a coenzyme required for the transfer of active aldehyde in carbohydrate metabolism. On the other hand, riboflavin functions in oxidation-reduction reactions that produce energy. Sources of riboflavin include leafy greens, milk, liver, and enriched cereals.
Vitamin B6 is a generic term used to encompass pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine. Vitamin B6 depend enzymes are essential for amino acid metabolism. Vitamin B12 refers to metabolically active cobalamines that are crucial for recycling active folate coenzymes. Vitamin B12 is synthesized from bacteria and is found only in animal feeds like milk, eggs, and meat.
Folacin encompasses both folic acid and folate. They are both needed to synthesize purines, methionine, and thymidylate and for the conversion of serine to glycine.
Niacin is generically used to encompass the active forms of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Several enzymes require niacin in its active forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. Many of these enzymes are utilized for energy metabolism, which is a critical factor in our bodies.
What is the difference between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins?
Fatty soluble vitamins are soluble in fat and are absorbed into the bloodstream when you eat them with a fatty meal because their absorption pathways are the same. Fatty soluble vitamins are abundant in high-fat content foods.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are soluble in water; they do not need fats to be absorbed.
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