Functions of fat-soluble vitamins

Vitamins are those vital nutrients that our body requires in small amounts for performing various functions. They are of two types, water-soluble and fat-soluble. Vitamins A,D,E and K are together termed as fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are extremely important in ensuring the physical wellbeing of an individual.

Vitamin A, also called retinol, plays a vital role in bone and tooth development. It also interfers with reproduction, cell division and gene expression. It also helps the eyes in adjusting to changes caused when exposed to different light situations. This vitamin also enables the mucous membranes present in the mouth, nose, throat and lungs to retain their mositure content.

Vitamin D helps the body is the absorbtiion of the vital minerals like calcium and phosphorous. Children especially need adequate amounts of vitamin D for the development of strong bones and teeth.

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant. It protects Vitamins A, C, red blood cells and essential fatty acids from being destroyed. Vitamin E is also widely employed in treatments done against cancer and certain coronary ailments.

Naturally produced by the intestinal bacteria, Vitamin K is esential for blood to clot mnormally. Bone health also gets promoted by this vitamin.

The most beneficial aspect of fat-soluble vitamins is that food materials donot lose them when cooked. The body is capable of storing these vitamins as well. When not in need, liver and fatty tissues effectively get them stored for further use. Their pace of elimination is also slower when compared to their water-soluble counterparts.

That is why it is said that body should not be exposed to fat-soluble vitamins in excess. Since stored for relatively longer periods, they pose a greater risk for toxicity if taken in large quantities. Taking vitamin supplements that contain increasd doses of fat-soluble vitamins might lead to serious health hazards. However, exposing the body to fat-soluble vitamins that are present in a normal well-balanced diet willnot lead to toxicity.


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