Fat and Water-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins are essential enzymes that
contribute to the healthiness of a human being. They occur in two major
categories that include water-soluble and fat-soluble compounds. The body can
store fat-soluble vitamins while the kidney is responsible for excreting excess
water-soluble constituents. Some of the fat-soluble compounds include vitamin
A, B, E, D, and K. Conversely, water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and
B-complex. Due to their importance, deficiency and toxicity of these substances
may have adverse health effects.
Fat and Water-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins are an assortment of organic substances present in several foods and aid in body metabolism. These compounds are in two categories depending on their solubility. These groups include fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are in large amounts while the kidney frequently eliminates excess water-soluble compounds. Fat-soluble vitamins comprise of vitamin A, D, E, and K (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012).These composites are present in fat tissues and liver cells. Conversely, human beings have to restock water-soluble vitamins by consuming certain foodstuffs since the body does not store such compounds. The main components of this category entail vitamin B-complex and C.
Vitamins are essential compounds in the body in terms of nutrition. They are important in the proper functioning of such structures as the nervous, reproductive, and circulatory systems. However, the human body produces negligible amounts of these organic constituents. For this reason, it is important to incorporate foods that act as vitamin sources in one’s meals on a daily basis. Additionally, various foods supplement the body with different kinds of vitamins (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012). Consequently, having a daily intake of such foods provides the body with a sufficient amount of all vitamins, avoiding adverse affects that result from vitamin deficiency.
Fat-soluble vitamins are compounds that need fats for the absorption and utilization processes. Their properties facilitate storage in fatty tissues and the liver. Various foodstuffs provide the body with certain forms of fat-soluble vitamins. For example, vitamin A is present in different animal and plant products. This entails foods like fish liver and cod liver oil, milk, green leafy vegetables, pawpaw, and mangoes. Likewise, such dairy products as cheese and cod liver oil from fish contains substantial amounts of vitamin D. Salmons, oatmeal, and sunlight also provide the body with this form of fat-soluble compounds (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012).
Conversely, vitamin E is primarily present in plant tissues with minimal levels found in animal products. Some of these sources include green leafy vegetables, cereals, and nuts. Extracts from such plants have significant quantities of this fat-soluble vitamin. According to various nutrition studies, wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and soybeans are major sources of vitamin E. Apart from being a primary resource of vitamin A, green leafy vegetables contain considerable levels of vitamin K. These plant products include spinach, turnips, kales, and collards (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012).
The subcategories of fat-soluble vitamins have different functions in the body. To start with, vitamin A facilitates proper functioning of such organs as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It is also helpful in the immune and reproductive systems in addition to improving the functionality of the human eyes. Likewise, vitamin D strengthens bones and muscles, preventing incidences of rickets and osteoporosis. It also improves the operations of the immune system, a condition enhanced by vitamin E. Moreover, vitamin K is an important component of the circulatory system by preventing incidences of blood clotting (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012).
Fat-soluble vitamins are beneficial in that one does not have to consume foods containing these components on a daily basis. Moreover, unlike the water-soluble vitamins, they support many organs such as the bones, eyes, blood, and skin. With its immense importance in the body, there are several deficiency symptoms. For example, lack of vitamin A leads to night blindness, dehydrated skin, and xerophthalmia. Likewise, the deficiency symptoms of Vitamin D include rickets and osteomalacia in minors and adults respectively. Conversely, insignificant levels of Vitamin E and K may result in permanent damage on the red blood cells.
Equally, excessive amounts of fat-soluble vitamins may have negative effects in the body. To start with, toxicity of Vitamin A may result in hair loss, blurred vision, and impulsive abortions. Likewise, vitamin D has such toxicity symptoms as deterred growth and abnormal soft tissues because of calcium secretion (Combs, 2012). Conversely, excessive levels of vitamin E inhibit the production process of vitamin K with the latter compound having various toxicity symptoms like bodily ineffectiveness to certain drugs.
Water-soluble vitamins are complex compounds, which are soluble in water and need the fluid for the absorption and utilization processes. Furthermore, constituents of vitamin B-complex like vitamin B1 are present in asparagus, sunflower seeds, ripe tomatoes, and peas. Plant products like mushrooms, soybeans, and spinach contain riboflavin, also referred to as vitamin B2 (Combs, 2012).
In terms of
functions, vitamin C is helpful in iron assimilation as well as improving the
immune system. It is also essential for protein metabolism. Components of vitamin
B-complex like vitamin B1, B2, AND B3 aid in energy metabolism as well as
ensuring proper functioning of the nervous system (Combs, 2012). Water-soluble
vitamins have several benefits with the main one being that such compounds
hardly result in toxicity. This is because the kidney excretes excess substances
from the body. Unhealthy diets can result in deficiencies of these essential enzymes.
Insufficiency symptoms include anemia, dehydrated skin, blurred vision, and poor
functionality of the nervous system (Combs, 2012). Conversely, toxicity of
these substances may lead to health complication such as vomiting, kidney
stones, anemia, and nausea.
Combs, G. F. (2012). The vitamins. Amsterdam: Elsevier/ Academic Press.
Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2012). Visualizing nutrition: Everyday choices. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.