The vitamins, which we consume with the food are two types: fat- and water-soluble. In this article, we will take a closer look at the fat-soluble vitamins: all the types, the recommended daily dosage, and the deficiency and toxicity symptoms which we might experience if we have abnormal vitamin levels in our blood.
In total, those vitamins are 4: Vitamin A, D, E, and K. It’s important to mention that those micronutrients are stored in the liver and in the fat tissue of the body, thus, it is easy to overdose with them. Those vitamins are stored in the body as “reserves” and don’t just pass through the body: they cannot exist with the urine or sweat.
For this reason, you should be extremely careful if you supplement with them, and should strictly follow your doctor`s recommendations. Otherwise, you risk experiencing the toxicity symptoms.
Another important point is that those vitamins ARE HEAT STABLE. In other words, their properties are not lost in the cooking process.
Now let`s see the exact purpose of each fat-soluble vitamin and in which food it can be found.
Two forms of vitamin A exist in food: retinol in dairy products and meat, and alpha and beta carotene in plants.
- Its function is to promote the growth of tissues and bones and to protect from infections. It also helps to keep the eyes healthy.
- Recommended daily dose (from food): 10.000 IU
- Deficiency signs are decreased vision (inability to see when the light is low), slow bone formation, being prone to viruses and infections.
- Toxicity signs include bone pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, skin rashes, nose bleeds, fatigue, diarrhea, hair loss.
- Foods rich in vitamin A are carrots, spinach, dairy products, sweet potatoes, liver, mangos, salmon.
- It stimulates the absorption of calcium and helps for the formation of strong bones and teeth. It boosts bone growth and prevents diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis.
- Recommended daily dose (from food): 600 IU/day. People in their 50`s and after need a higher dose of vitamin D, which cannot be met with food intake only. Specialists recommend that those people should take supplements, depending on their current vitamin D levels.
- Deficiency signs are deformation of bones, weak and painful muscles, depression, a weakened immune system.
- Toxicity signs include high levels of calcium in the blood, excessive thirst, headache, nausea, loss of appetite.
- The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. However, they are some foods which contain it: meat, fish, dairy products.
- It acts as a strong antioxidant and protects the cells from free radicals damage. Also, it boosts the immune system.
- Recommended daily dose (from food): 15mg/day.
- Deficiency signs are weak immune system, loss of appetite, anemia.
- Toxicity signs include blurred vision, fatigue, augmented effects of anti-clotting medications.
- Foods rich in vitamin E are seeds, nuts, plant oils, peanuts, green vegetables.
In the form of vitamin K1 and K2.
- It has enzyme function, as it synthesizes proteins and transports them to the blood, bones, and kidneys. It helps the blood to clot.
- Recommended daily dose (from food): 100mcg/day. People who take Warfarin should take fixed amounts of vitamin K, because fluctuations in the intake of this vitamin may affect the absorption of the mediation.
- Deficiency signs are difficult to stop bleeding, bruises, osteoporosis.
- Toxicity sign is excessive blood clotting.
- Foods rich in vitamin K are dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, kale, carrots, grapes, poultry, nuts.