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Fat Soluble Vitamins

Most of the vitamins were discovered from the years 1900 to 1950. It was found that a fat-soluble factor prevented xerophthalmia (dry eye disease) in rats, and the discoverers called it fat-soluble A factor. This factor is now known as vitamin A or retinol. Soon other fat-soluble factors (the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K) were discovered.

Although the four fat-soluble vitamins ( A, D, E and K ) differ in function,. utilization, and sources, they also have several similar characteristics. They are soluble in fat and fat solvents; are fairly stable to heat, as in cooking; do not contain nitrogen; are absorbed in the intestine along with fat and lipids in foods; and require bile (greenish brown liquid to help the body to deal with fats) for absorption.

The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K differ from the water-soluble vitamins in several ways. The fat-soluble vitamins are found in the fats and oils of food. They 'are insoluble in water, so they require bile for absorption. The fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and adipose tissue (fatty tissue) until they are needed. They are not readily excreted from the body as most of the water-soluble vitamins are. Vitamins A and D are stored in large amounts for long periods of time and need not be consumed everyday. A person only needs to ensure that their average daily intake should be close to the recommended amount. Because the fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body, the risk of toxicity in case of fat-soluble vitamins is greater than it is for the water-soluble vitamins.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.