Our normal day to day activities needs energy which is supplied by macronutrients. However, to support the macronutrients role and for good health we need micronutrients. These micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins are organic substances and vital for good health. There are 13 types of vitamins and are classified into two categories as per their absorption and storage in the body; ‘fat -soluble vitamins’ and ‘water-soluble vitamins’.
These vitamins are needed in a very small amount such as fractions of milligram; but cannot be produced by human body. So, to meet the requirements of the vitamins, one has to eat a varied and balanced meal.
The requirements of these nutrients may vary as per age and gender. Some people may need a supplement, as their demand for nutrition can be increased during pa articular period, for example, pregnant or lactating women, old age, smokers etc.
Classification and absorption of vitamins:
The fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K as they are soluble in fats. They get absorbed and stored in the tissues whereas, water-soluble vitamins are Vitamin C and B and they are directly absorbed by the body cell.
Deficiency of vitamins:
One can have a vitamins deficiency if the person is having inadequate or improper nutrition or may suffering from a certain disease such as fat mal-absorption disorder, liver disease, cystic fibrosis etc. A deficiency of certain vitamins could also cause a disease. Such as vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in an adult.
Excess of vitamins in the body:
Excess intake of water-soluble vitamins is flushed out of our system in the urine and hence, we need to consume these vitamins more often.
Whereas, fat-soluble vitamin can’t eliminate from the body quickly as water-soluble vitamins and long-term consumption of fat-soluble vitamin (particularly Vitamin A and Vitamin D) at above the required levels can accumulate by toxic level in the body and hence, the excess fat-soluble vitamins (except Vitamin E and K) can harm the body organs.
The fat-soluble vitamins need fat to get absorbed in the bloodstream from the intestinal tract. That gets stored in the liver and fatty tissues, which can be used in the future.
Role of fat-soluble vitamins in health and it’s dietary source.
Nutrition is a double-edged sword; both under and over nutrition can harm the body. However, if a person is taking supplements with ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat diet’ then there are less chances of fat-soluble vitamins getting absorbed in the body. So, before going on such diet and taking the supplements one should consider this point. Also, attention should be paid on both the sources that is diet and supplement to consider the overall total intake of all nutrients just to avoid toxic results from over nutrition.