The majority of people do not even realise that vitamin supplements are different. Aside from the obvious letter difference, they can be classified as either Fat soluble vitamins or water soluble vitamins. Depending upon how the body processes the vitamin determines whether the it is fat or water soluble.
At a basic level, it does not really matter if a vitamin is fat soluble or water soluble. What is most important is ensuring your body gets the recommended daily allowance of each. Regardless of whether you are getting your vitamins via your diet or by dietary supplements, avoiding a vitamin deficiency is what will keep the body in good health.
When looked at from a chemical aspect, the differences between fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins are fairly complicated. The majority of people do not take the time or care to understand all that is involved behind the scenes.
What is important is that the body is able to store fat soluble vitamins but not water soluble vitamins. The fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K, are absorbed through the large intestines. In order that this absorption process works properly, there must also be some dietary fat present. The body will find it difficult to complete the absorption process if fat is not eaten along with the fat soluble vitamins. Once fat soluble vitamins have been absorbed, they are stored in the liver where they wait until called upon to do their jobs.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Let's take a closer look at the fat soluble vitamins.
- Vitamin K assists the body to metabolize food into energy. It is responsible for protecting the blood's clotting ability by supplying the seven blood clotting proteins involved in the process. It is also necessary for normal bone growth.
- Vitamin E is an important antioxidant and as well as protecting Vitamins A and C, it also plays a crucial role in protecting fatty acids and red blood cells from being destroyed.
- Without Vitamin D, the body could not efficiently absorb calcium. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorous in the blood. Storing Vitamin D helps ensure that even if a person does not drink enough milk, bones will not suffer.
- Vitamin A is the vision vitamin. It helps eyes focus in dim light and helps differentiate colors. It also plays a vital role in tissue growth and differentiation. It boosts the immune system's ability to fight infection. A special protein called a transport protein helps the Vitamin A that is stored in the liver travel to the tissues where it is needed.
Water Soluble Vitamins
One of the biggest differences between fat soluble vitamins and any vitamin that is soluble in water is that the latter are not stored in the body. Because the body is not able to store these vitamins, they must be constantly resupplied.
As water soluble vitamins enter the body, they are put to work immediately and any excess is eliminated from the body via the urine. The vitamins that make up the water soluble category include the B vitamins, Vitamin C and Biotin or Vitamin H.
- The B vitamins are responsible for several crucial bodily functions. During the process of converting glucose from carbohydrates, the B vitamins provide energy to the body. Without B vitamins, the body would not be able to properly metabolize proteins and fats.
- One of Biotin's primary responsibilities is to ensure proper growth.
- Vitamin C is important for its antioxidant effects and also benefits the body in many other ways as well.
If you cannot get the vitamins you need from eating and drinking a balanced diet, consider taking vitamin supplements because your health and well being depends on it.