The Difference Between Water Soluble and Fat Soluble Vitamins

The Difference Between Water Soluble and Fat Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are essential to our health. Whether we get them from food sources or vitamin supplements, we need these nutrients to support the health and function of our bodies. However, not all vitamins are the same. Aside from the obvious fact that each vitamin is different from another, vitamins are divided into two groups—fat soluble and water soluble. These two groups of vitamins are absorbed differently in the body and stored differently.


To maintain your nutrition and health, it's essential to know the differences between these two vitamin groups and how to consume best each type of vitamin for optimal digestion and absorption.


What Are Vitamins?


Vitamin D keeps you healthy while lack of sun. Yellow soft shell D-vitamin capsule against sun and blue sky on sunny day. Cure concept.


 A vitamin is "an organic molecule that is an essential micronutrient that an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism." Most essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the body, either at all or not in sufficient quantities, and therefore must be obtained through the diet. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Vitamins are a group of substances needed for normal cell function, growth, and development."


Vitamins have many vital functions in the body, including: 


  • Giving your body energy
  • Building and repairing tissue
  • Strengthening your bones
  • Keeping your nervous system healthy
  • Supporting your immune system


And much more.


There are two different types of vitamins—fat soluble and water soluble. This means that these vitamins either live in your body's fat or in your body's water. They also act differently in the body. Below we'll discuss what vitamins are considered water-soluble and what vitamins are considered fat soluble.


What Are Fat Soluble Vitamins?


Foods rich in vitamin D. Top view


Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed along with other fats that you consume. They are also stored in your body's fat tissue and liver, which can stay for up to 6 months until your body needs these nutrients.


The primary fat-soluble vitamins are:


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K


Each vitamin has a unique function that it provides for the body and can be obtained from various foods. 


Vitamin A


Drop water vitamin A pink and structure. Vitamin complex with Chemical formula from nature. Beauty treatment nutrition skin care design. Medical and scientific concepts. 3D Realistic Vector EPS10.


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is essential for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. In addition, it helps the body resist infection and allows the body to use its reserves for repairing and regenerating muscle tissue. Vitamin A helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. 


While vitamin A is a fully formed nutrient, beta-carotene is a fat-soluble nutrient precursor to vitamin A. This means that it can be used by your body to produce vitamin A. However, there is also an interesting difference between beta-carotene and vitamin A in how they affect your health. For example, overconsumption of vitamin A can have a toxic effect on the body. In contrast, beta-carotene provides the body with vitamin A without toxicity.


Beta-carotene also provides antioxidant protection against tissue and cell (DNA) damage. In addition, it has immune-enhancing functions that produce immune cells and increase bacterial resistance.


Vitamin A primarily comes from animal foods, whereas beta-carotene is more commonly found in plant foods. 


Best sources of Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene:


  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Yams
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe
  • Organ meats
  • Cod liver oil
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Raw cheese
  • Eggs


Vitamin D


Drop water vitamin D orange and structure. Vitamin complex with Chemical formula from nature. Beauty treatment nutrition skin care design. Medical and scientific concepts. 3D Realistic Vector EPS10.


Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins for our overall health. Still, many people do not get enough of this vitamin. The main job of vitamin D is to keep the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in your blood; these two nutrients work together to strengthen your bones. 


Suppose you don't have vitamin D in your body. In that case, only a tiny amount of calcium from your diet can be absorbed by your body, and only a little more than half of the phosphorus is absorbed. Without enough calcium and phosphorus absorbed in your body, your bones would become brittle and break easily. Vitamin D helps to prevent bone fractures, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses, improve your mood, and improve the functioning of your lungs.


Human skin can make large amounts of vitamin D when the skin is exposed, and the sun is high in the sky. So your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. 


Best sources of Vitamin D:


  • Sunlight
  • Mushrooms
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy


Vitamin E


Vitamin E and structure. Medicine capsule, Golden substance. 3D Vitamin complex with chemical formula. Personal care and beauty concept. Vector Illustration


Vitamin E is a vitamin that acts as a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect the body from free radical damage and oxidative stress. In addition, vitamin E promotes cardiovascular health, proper growth hormone production, and muscle rejuvenation. It is essential to all cell membranes, including nuclear and mitochondrial membranes.


Best sources of Vitamin E:


  • Flaxseed oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Moringa leaves
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Poultry
  • Snails


Vitamin K 


Drop water vitamin K green and structure. Vitamin complex with Chemical formula from nature. Beauty treatment nutrition skin care design. Medical and scientific concepts. 3D Realistic Vector EPS10.


Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. In addition, the body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor important in blood clotting and bone metabolism.


Best sources of Vitamin K:


  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Pine nuts
  • Chicken
  • Eggs


For your body to properly absorb these nutrients, they must be consumed along with fat. This allows them to be transported to the fat tissue in your body and stored there for later use.


What Are Water Soluble Vitamins?


Now, to talk about what vitamins are water-soluble. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that are stored long-term in your body fat, water-soluble vitamins don't get stored at all. Instead, they enter your bloodstream from the food you eat and are used by your body. Whatever is not used is eliminated through your urine. 

Because water-soluble vitamins are not stored in your body, they must be replenished frequently. As a result, you can go a while without eating fat-soluble vitamins. Still, water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, need to be restored each day.


So, what are the water-soluble vitamins? Water-soluble vitamins include:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin)
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate)
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • Vitamin C


Essentially, the water-soluble vitamins are the 8 B vitamins and vitamin C.


B Vitamins


Assortment of high vitamin B sources on dark background: milk, liver, olive oil, tomatoes, prawns, peanuts, beef, spinach, salmon, keshew, cheese, haricot. Top view.


B vitamins are an essential group of nutrients. Each one is quite different from another but is often found in similar foods and has been grouped under the term "B vitamins." There are 8 B vitamins in total. In general, these need to be obtained from diet daily.


Some B vitamins are produced in the bowel, but the conditions for that to happen to require the intestinal microflora or friendly bacteria species that colonize the bowel to dominate over the unfriendly species.


Unfortunately, because many Americans live on processed dead foods, alcohol, and diets lacking in any living enzymes, the balance of friendly to unfriendly bacteria is inverted, preventing the body from realizing any benefit from its ability to produce B vitamins. 


The importance of having sufficient quantities of B vitamins available to the body is vital to a broad spectrum of cell and metabolic reactions and the body's ability to defend itself and almost every aspect of the immune response. 


Vitamin B1 helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy. Therefore, maintaining high energy levels depends partly on maintaining adequate B1 in the diet.


Vitamin B2 helps break down amino acids (protein) for the body to use. Like B1, B2 helps convert carbohydrates into energy. It also contributes to healthy red blood cell production.


Vitamin B3 is essential for the body's breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates and protein. As with other B vitamins, vitamin B3 is integral in converting food into energy. It also plays a crucial role in keeping the digestive system healthy, allowing the body to get more out of the food it consumes.


Vitamin B5, as well as all B vitamins, helps convert food into energy. It also facilitates the production of steroids – an integral part of the regeneration process after physical exertion.


Vitamin B6 aids in producing antibodies—essential for warding off infection and maintaining the ability to recover from exertion quickly. Vitamin B6 also contributes to cardiovascular health, helping the heart efficiently circulate blood in a greater volume.


Vitamin B7 helps the body convert food into energy, boosts the health of the hair and nails, supports a healthy pregnancy, and helps manage blood sugar levels. 


Vitamin B9 is essential for proper brain function and plays a vital role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA. It is essential when cells and tissues proliferate, such as during infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy.


Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, aiding coordination and smooth muscle movement. In addition, it is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. 


Best Sources of B Vitamins:


  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Bee pollen
  • Brown rice
  • Legumes
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats
  • Amaranth
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Acorn squash
  • Nutritional Yeast


Vitamin C 


Drop water vitamin C orange and structure. Vitamin complex with Chemical formula from nature. Beauty treatment nutrition skin care design. Medical and scientific concepts. 3D Realistic Vector EPS10.


Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and significantly reduces damage to body tissue and muscle caused by physical activity. In addition, vitamin C protects the blood from free radical damage and is an essential nutrient for supporting immune system health.


Best sources of Vitamin C:


  • Citrus fruits
  • Amla
  • Bell peppers
  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Acerola cherry
  • Rose hips
  • Strawberries
  • Many fruits and vegetables


What Vitamins Are Fat Soluble and Water Soluble?


To summarize what vitamins are water soluble and fat soluble, fat-soluble vitamins include:


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K


These nutrients need to be consumed with fat to be absorbed appropriately (the only exception being vitamin D when obtained directly from sunlight exposure). However, they are also stored in the body's fat and can be accessed when needed.


Water soluble vitamins include:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin)
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate)
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • Vitamin C


These nutrients are absorbed with water. They travel in the bloodstream and are used by the body. Whatever is not used is eliminated in the urine. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the fat and must be consumed daily.


All vitamins play essential roles in the body. Still, it is essential to focus on getting enough water-soluble vitamins daily, as they are not stored in the body. Because sufficient quantities of these vitamins are needed daily, many people are deficient in B vitamins and vitamin C, which can result in many health issues if continued over time.


We recommend supplementing our Stress B Complex with Vitamin C. With just two capsules, you can quickly give your body the water-soluble nutrients it needs for the day.




While there are 13 essential vitamins in total, they are divided into two groups—fat soluble and water soluble. These two types of vitamins are absorbed and used differently by the body. Knowing the difference in these nutrients allows you to know how to absorb them best.


Water-soluble vitamins are best absorbed with water, while fat-soluble vitamins are best absorbed with fat. Many people are unaware of this difference, but it can significantly affect your nutrition. It can help you become more aware of the importance of getting B vitamins and vitamin C daily. It also points out the issues with many multivitamins that combine nutrients from different groups that absorb differently.


We recommend getting your fat-soluble vitamins from high-quality food sources and your water-soluble vitamins from high-quality food. However, consider supplementing with these if you find it challenging to get enough nutrients daily.


When you focus on giving your body the nutrients it needs daily, you can experience significant improvements in your overall health and well-being.






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