Vitamins are organic essential nutrients required by our body in small amounts to perform various roles as a part of many chemical reactions that take place in our body. Vitamins are divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
Water soluble vitamins represent all B-Complex vitamins and vitamin C
- not stored in the body, must be replaced everyday
- the body keeps what it needs and excess is excreted in urine
- dissolve in water when ingested
- absorbed from intestines
- passed into blood stream
- these vitamins are unstable and can be easily destroyed by storage and processing
- B vitamins act as a part of important co-enzymes in releasing energy from food
Complete list of water soluble vitamins.
Fat soluble vitamins represent vitamins A, D, E and vitamin K
- do not need to be replenished everyday as body stores them in the liver
- dissolve in fat
- only small amounts are needed to maintain good health
- absorbed from the intestinal tract
- transported into the body by lipids and absorbed by fat globules (chylomicrons)
- more likely to lead to hypervitaminosis
- excreted in slower rates when compared with water-soluble vitamins
- low fat intake can hinder absorption of fat soluble vitamins
Complete list of fat soluble vitamins.
Please note that Daily Recommended Intake RDI, provided here are nutrients reference values for Australia and New Zealand and these may be different in other countries. The RDI’s are set in amounts to sustain and prevent possible deficiency in healthy individuals. If you suffer particular medical conditions, experience any health complaint, follow particular diet or are pregnant or breastfeeding it is likely that your need for individual essential nutrients will vary and you are best to discuss it with your health care practitioner or nutritionist/dietitian to ensure correct and safe amounts.
The appropriate values and recommendations can be searched for with “dietary guidance”, “dietary reference intakes”, “recommended daily allowance US” and etcetera words term combinations. See links for relevant information.