Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Facts on Vitamin A, D, E, and K

There are only four fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K. Fat-soluble means that unlike water-soluble vitamins that absorb in the body and then are flushed out daily, fat-soluble vitamins are stored for later use via being absorbed by the fat cells. You need to monitor your intake of these vitamins as they are much easier to reach the UL (upper limit) of tolerance. Below is a summary guide to the four fat-soluble vitamins and a brief glossary of supplement terms.

Vitamin A (a.k.a. beta-carotene, retinal, retinol, retinoic acid) Vitamin A incorporates both beta-carotene and retinol. The vitamin has a RDA of 3,000 IU in men and 2,333 IU in women. It is used to help with the immune system, as an antioxidant, and to keep the organs and intestines healthy. The UL is 10,000 IU of retinol. Three foods you can get beta-carotene from are: mango, carrots, and dark leafy green vegetables. Three foods you can get retinol from are: liver, eggs, and fortified milk.

Vitamin D (a.k.a. cholecalciferol, calciferol, ergocalciferol, dihydroxy vitamin D-2, and vitamin D-3) The RDA of vitamin D is 200 IU for people up to 50 years of age, 400 IU for people 51-70 years of age, and 600 IU for people over 70 years of age. It is used as a utilizer of phosphorous and it is good for bone formation and strength. The UL is 2,000 IU. Three foods that you can get vitamin D from are: cheese, fortified milk, and from breakfast cereal.

Vitamin E (a.k.a. alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, tocopherol acetate, and tocopherol succinate) The RDA of vitamin E is 30 IU in adults. It is used for cleaning up free radicals, and for red blood cell formation, reproduction, and growth. The UL is 1,493 IU. Three foods that you can get vitamin E from are: sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and wheat germ.

Vitamin K (a.k.a. phylloquinone (k-1), menaquinone (k-2), menadione (k-3), and dihydrophylloquinone) The RDA of vitamin K is 90 mcg. in women and 120 mcg. in men. It is used in blood clotting, building and strengthening osteocalcin that helps bones. The UL is not set for vitamin K. Three foods that you can get vitamin K from are: brussel sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli.

Mcg– microgram, 1/1000 of a milligram
Fortified– nutrients either aren’t found in the original product or barely found in the product. Fortified means they are added to the product.
RDA– Recommended daily allowance. Average amount needed to meet the needs of a population per day.
IU– International Unit. Measure of a vitamins activity.
UL– Upper Limit. Highest level you can take before adverse reactions or toxicity occurs

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