Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that dissolve in fat and can be stored in the body. These vitamins are A, D, E, and K vitamin groups.
The vitamin A group is best known for playing a key role in vision. Night blindness is an early indication that there is a deficiency of vitamin A. Permanent scarring of the cornea caused by bacteria is a more severe indication that a person has a lack of vitamin A. Not having enough of the vitamin can also affect the skin, intestinal and lung tissues. Because they have not stored enough vitamin A in their systems, young children are at most risk of developing a deficiency. Synthetic forms of vitamin A or retinoids are used for treating acne.
The Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin A for men is 1000 ug, and 800 ugs for women. Foods such as liver, eggs, orange, and red fruits and vegetables contain vitamin A. Taking more than the recommended amounts should not be done without the advice of your physician. Taking more than 200 mg could result in nausea, headache, and vomiting.
The vitamin D group increases the efficiency of intestinal calcium absorption and mobilizes calcium stores from the bone in order to maintain calcium levels in the body. If a person does not have enough vitamin D in his or her system it can result in muscle weakness, bony deformities, neuromuscular irritability causing muscle spasms of the larynx and hands, generalized convulsions and tetany. Components of the vitamin D group have been used to treat severe liver failure and D deficiency bone diseases.
There is no recommended daily amount of vitamin D to consume, but an adequate intake. Health experts say a person 0-50 years old should have 5 mg a day and those 50-70 should have 10 mg. People over 70 should have 15 mg. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fishes such as salmon, and can be found in fortified foods such as milk, bread, and cereals.
Vitamin E group includes eight compounds each serving a different purpose. The basic function of vitamin E is as an antioxidant protecting cell structure from free radicals. Reproductive failure, forms of anemia and muscle shrinkage are signs that a person may be deficient in the vitamin.
The recommended daily dose is 10 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Vitamin E can be found in foods such as seed oils, nuts, vegetable oil, and wheat germ. Taken in large doses, it is not as toxic as some of the other fat-soluble vitamins. Researchers have studied the vitamin group’s effect on coronary disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Vitamin K group elements are essential when it comes to the blood clotting process. Without enough vitamin K in the body, infants are at risk for brain hemorrhage during their first few months of life. Bleeding because of a vitamin K deficiency in adults and older children is rare.
Stored most of it in liver and bone; in the absence of dietary or intestinal vitamin K sources, symptoms appear rapidly.
The Recommended Daily Allowance of K varies with age. The current Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for vitamin K (µg/day) are:
5 at age 0-6 months,
10 for 6-12 months,
15 for 1-3 years,
20 for 4-6 years,
30 for 7-10 years,
45 for 11-14 years,
55 for girls 15-18 years,
60 for women 19-24 years,
65 for women 25 years and older,
Pregnant and lactating women and boys 15-18;
70 for men 19-24 years, and
80 for men 25 years and older.
Spinach, kale, and broccoli can provide more than one RDA in a single serving. Kiwi, cabbage, liver, soybean, canola and olive oils, including margarine and mayonnaise made from these oils, contain 20-50 % of current RDA per serving.
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