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Comparing Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins

Incorporating vitamins and supplements into our everyday routines can be a great way to support our overall health and wellness. Taking these vitamins and supplements will boost the vitamins we already receive naturally through the foods we consume and the sunlight we get from being outside. It is essential to know what types of vitamins you are incorporating so that you can properly take them, which allows for better absorption in the body. Different types of vitamins are absorbed at varying rates and have additional requirements for effective absorption.

Vitamins can generally be categorized into two types: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-soluble Vitamins:
Water-soluble vitamins are those that require water to be absorbed into the body. These vitamins dissolve in water and immediately absorb into tissues, so they are ready quickly ready for use. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and therefore, need to be replenished quite often. Keep in mind that too much of a good thing can become toxic to your body, including excess water-soluble vitamins. While it is essential to make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins, it’s also vital to note that taking these vitamins in excess can cause health problems. For example, ingesting too much vitamin C can result in diarrhea.

Water-soluble vitamins include B-complex vitamins and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The B-complex group includes:

Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Vitamin B3 – Niacin
Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
Vitamin B7 – Biotin
Vitamin B9 – Folate or Folic Acid
Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin

Fat-soluble vitamins:
Fat-soluble vitamins are those that require fat to be dissolved and later absorbed into the body. These vitamins are absorbed by fat globules that migrate through the small intestines and then enter the body through the bloodstream. While water-soluble vitamins are readily distributed throughout the body, fat-soluble vitamins are stored away in the liver and fatty tissues for use in the future. Ensure you are taking these vitamins with foods containing fat, like whole or skim milk yogurt. Please note that ingesting too much of these types of supplements can cause health problems and toxicity in the body.

Fat-soluble vitamins include four different types of vitamins:

Vitamin A – Essential to the formation of healthy bones and teeth, aids in vision, and contributes to immune and cellular functions.
Vitamin D – Supports the development of bones and teeth through the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
Vitamin E – Fights off infections due to antioxidant properties and helps maintain red blood cell health.
Vitamin K – Plays a significant role in blood clotting and keeping bones healthy.

​Always remember to consult with your healthcare providers before including new vitamins and supplements in your diet. Not sure if you should be incorporating specific vitamins and supplements into your routine? Call to schedule a consultation with one of our pharmacists today at 601-450-6979!

Alma, L. (2020, January 6). What Is the Difference Between Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins? Verywell Health.