Another Monday, and we're back with the second part of our vitamin tour. Today, we cover Fat Soluble Vitamins! What are these vitamins? These are the ones that are a part of our favorite beauty products and they include Vitamins A, D, E as well as K. If you haven't yet listened to the episode go back and listen now! We will see you back here after the show for a detailed summary.
Fat soluble vitamins are stored in ... FAT. Abundant in high fat foods and is thus, better absorbed into your bloodstream when consumed with fat
These can also be obtained from your diet. Why is that important because too much of a good thing is also bad for example, Vitamin E supplements have been linked to increase your risk for heart failure and excess Vitamin A is actually bad for your bones.
You know our favorite saying: "Everything in Moderation"
Function: Important for vision maintenance (night vision, forms tear fluid), immune function, body and hair growth, reproductive function
- Antioxidant - neutralizes free radicals
- Collectively known as retinoid compounds
Most Common dietary form: retinol
Other forms: Retinal and Retinoic acid (not found from a food source)
Don't forget beta carotene and remember Vitamin A's importance in the treatment of measles!
Food source: Liver, liver oil, fish, butter, green yellow vegetables, carrots
Plant source: carotenoid antioxidants (provitamin A) carrots, kale and spinach
RDA in Adults: 2300 IU or 700 mcg (women), 3000 IU or 900 mcg (men)
Deficiency Causes: lack dietary intake (over several months), issues absorbing fats, fat-free diets, vegans at higher risk, areas with limited food variety (refined rice, white potatoes)
Symptoms: night blindness, dry eyes, squamous metaplasia of the corneal epithelium, follicular hyperkeratosis (aka goose flesh), frequent infections, hair loss
Excess Causes: 15 times the amount of the regular intake, individuals on isotretinoin treatment
Symptoms: fatigue, irritability, joint pain, lack of appetite, vomiting, blurry vision, hair loss, seizures, yellow pigmentation due to excess beta carotene
Note: avoid exceeding the upper limit of intake which is, 10,000 IU
Health status may impact requirements of this vitamin: people with end stage liver disease, pregnancy (too much of the vitamin A is associated with an increased risk for birth defects)
Benefits: treatment of measles, leukemia, acne, psoriasis, reversing photo-aging, enhances skin cell turnover (14-20 days versus 30 days), collagen boost, reduces pigmentation and sun spots, smooths out textured skin, reduces fine lines as well as, wrinkles, minimizes pores
Note: use Vitamin A to prevent aging since skin cell turnover rate declines around 25
How to properly apply Vitamin A? Make sure your skin is completely dry, follow with a moisturizer, wear it two nights on with one night of rest, use SPF (increased sensitivity to UV light)
Remember: Use Vitamin C by day and Vitamin A by night!
Bakuchiol: British Journal of Dermatology studied this plant extract which demonstrated that it works as well as retinol. Also works to plump your skin, reduce fine lines, and skin tightening. Now used as an alternative due to it being less irritating to the skin.
Find it a part of this amazing product:
- Types: Two main dietary forms D2 (Ergocalciferol) and D3 (Cholecalciferol)
- D2: found in mushrooms and certain plants
- D3: animal sourced foods (eggs, fish oil), produced by the skin once exposed to the sun
Function: raises blood calcium concentrations, bone growth, function and maintenance, regulates phosphorus, strengthens immune function
Note: people with osteoporosis have an increased bone resorption and they take medications like bisphosphonate for treatment
Sources: preformed ingestion from diet
- D2 ingested from plants or pharmacologic
- D3 is ingested from milk or fatty fish
- can also be formed through sun exposed skin
Remember that vitamin D can be added to your dairy and butter products!
Note: Ritual vitamins contain Vitamin D3
Biologically active form is calcitriol, Storage form is calcidiol
Vitamin D3 more effectively converted into the active form than D2
RDA: Ages 9-70 years old require 600 IU or 15 mcg
Deficiency Causes: low sunlight exposure, worsening liver or kidney function, issues with absorbing fat
Symptoms: fatigue, depression, hair loss, impaired wound healing, increased risk for bone fractures (rickets in children), osteomalacia (soft bones, seen in adults)
People at higher risk: those with darker skin tones due to melanin pigments protective effect from the sun, elderly and obesity
Excess Causes: taking too much of Vitamin D (more than 10 times of the recommended dose), Sarcoidosis
Symptoms: headache, nausea, weight loss, fatigue, kidney damage, heart damage, elevates blood pressure, fetal abnormalities, increased thirst, increased urination, nocturnal urination, high calcium in the blood and urine, decreased appetite, promote bone resorption
Benefits: alleviates dry skin (psoriasis and eczema), protective or rejuvenating effect on aging skin, contributes to skin cell regrowth, repair, and metabolism, destroys free radicals that cause premature aging, may reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections
Note: too much sun accelerates skin aging
It's all about balance!
Some studies have shown Vitamin D can actually make you live longer!
Function: antioxidant, protects against arteriosclerosis, protects cells against premature aging and damage by free radicals
Two groups: tocopherols and tocotrienols (each subdivided into alpha, beta, gamma, and delta forms)
Alpha tocopherol is the most common form of Vitamin E, makes up 90% of Vitamin E in our blood. It functions to prevent oxidative stress and to protect fatty acids in our cell membranes from free radicals.
Antioxidant properties are enhanced by other nutrients like Vitamin C, B3, and Selenium
Food source: vegetable oils (sunflower or wheat germ), sees (almonds or hazelnuts)
Other rich sources: avocados, margarine, fish liver oil
RDA: 19 to 50 year olds - 23 IU, >51 years old - 18 IU
Deficiency causes: malabsorption or diseases associated with malabsorption
Symptoms: muscle weakness, decreased joint sensation, ataxia, tremors, visual problems, poor or weakness immune function, numbness
Severe and long term deficiency: hemolytic anemia, heart disease, serious neurological issues, blindness, dementia, weakened reflexes, inability to fully control your own body movements
Excess causes: avoid large doses of Vitamin E because it decreases Vitamin K dependent clotting factors in people who take Warfarin also known as, Coumadin. This can lead to increased risk for bleeding.
Do not take more than 1000 mg/day!
Benefits: gamma tocopherol found to increase blood flow (can potentially decrease blood pressure and risk of heart disease), blood thinning effect, can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol
Skin Benefits: when you apply it topically you boost its availability to your skin (note when you go into the sun you can deplete the levels of Vitamin E, thus applying it topically is important for mature skin), can protect from environmental pollution, moisturizer to help heal wounds, accelerate healing process of scars, tissue repair, anti-inflammatory, protects against free radicals by reducing wrinkles and keeping your skin youthful. It is also used for treatment of certain conditions like dry brittle hair, dry cuticles, chapped lips and dry skin. Reduces skin itching due to its moisturizing effect thus, explains its use in dermatitis.
Note: Studies in mice have shown an association that they are less likely to develop skin cancer if they apply vitamin E before exposure to UV light
Vitamin E and Vitamin C are more effective together than when you use either product alone!
Function: Helps your blood clot, without it you will bleed, synthesizes our clotting factors II, VII, IX, X, proteins C and S, supports bone growth, helps prevent calcification of our blood vessels, and potentially reduces the risk of heart disease
Two main groups: K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone)
K1 - found in plant sourced foods and main dietary form
K2 - found in animal sourced foods, fermented soy products (natto), made by gut bacteria in the colon
3 synthetic forms: K3 (menadione), K4 (menadiol-diacetate), K5
Common sources: normal gut bacterial flora, green vegetables (containing K1)
Food source of K1: parsley, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, lettuce
Food source of K2: egg yolk, butter and liver (high fat animal sourced foods)
Note: infants require a Vitamin K injection (since their gut flora is not fully developed and breast milk does not contain vitamin K)
Adequate Intake: Women 18 and over = 90 mcg, Men 18 and over = 120 mcg
Note: Vitamin K is not stored in the body in significant amounts thus, you need to consume a diet with Vitamin K
Deficiency Causes: problems with fat absorption or digestion (i.e.: celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis), high doses of Vitamin A can reduce Vitamin K absorption, high doses of Vitamin E may counteract Vitamin K's effect on blood clotting, prolonged use of broad spectrum antibiotics, worsening liver function
Symptoms: easy bruising, bleeding, hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, reduced bone density, increased risk of fractures in women
Excess symptoms: hemolytic anemia and liver disease
Benefits: K1 and K2 supplements can decrease bone loss and reduce risk of fractures, K2 can slightly increase survival of patients with liver cancer and may lower the risk of heart disease (inconclusive evidence), K1 has been found to slow the development of insulin resistance in older men
Skin Benefits: reduces the appearance of dark circles under our eyes, may be effective in reducing scars, stretch marks and spider veins. Reduces fine lines and wrinkles, protects the collagen in our body
In summary, fat soluble vitamins can help promote cell regeneration due to their antioxidant effects and may help you look, young, fresh as well as, wrinkle-free! Don't take too much and don't take too little but make sure you obtain these from your well-balanced diet!
With that said, this should provide you some information regarding the medical importance of these vitamins, the food sources from which to obtain them and to really assess if you require any of these vitamins as a supplement. Don't forget to speak with your physician before taking any of these supplements!
That's all for this week, don't forget to leave us feedback, rate, review, subscribe and send in your questions so we can continue to improve as well as, provide you high quality content!
Disclaimer: The Content on our podcast/website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.