Which vitamins do we need to eat?
There are 13 vitamins which all interact with our cell enzymes to regulate a variety of essential bodily functions. They are crucial for many of our metabolic processes, to release energy from nutrients, and in building and maintaining bones, teeth, skin, blood and many other vital body tissues.
There are two main categories of vitamins – fat-soluble and water-soluble. Here we explain the which are the fat soluble vitamins, why you need them and where you find them in our foods.
In one sentence: Fat-soluble vitamins use the fats that we eat as a transport system to get around our body, and are stored in those fatty tissues and our liver.
The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in our bodies (in the liver and fatty tissues), so they don’t need to be taken every day: 2-3 times per week should be sufficient in most cases for adults.
One reason why we need fat in our diet is that the fat-soluble vitamins are transported with fats in “lipoproteins” in our blood, or with specific transport proteins because they cannot dissolve in water (or blood). These vitamins operate in cells and their membranes. Because these vitamins can be stored in our body, excessively high intakes of them can be toxic (harmful).