Types of Vitamins
There are two types of vitamins:
Fat soluble vitamins [vitamins A, D, E, K]
Water soluble vitamins [vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), niacin, pantothenic acid, bioton, and folic acid among many others]
Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve and remain in the body’s fatty tissues. Fat-soluble vitamins should not be consumed in excess of the daily-recommended intake because fat-soluble vitamins are not easily eliminated from the body. Instead, they build up in fatty tissues. Excessive supplemental dosages of fat-soluble vitamins can cause side effects. (See Vitamin Supplementation: “Overdosing”)
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in the fluids of the body. Generally, any excess of water-soluble vitamins is voided in the urine. Therefore, excess consumption of water-soluble vitamins is less of a concern than that of fat-soluble vitamins. Nonetheless, excessive supplemental dosages of water-soluble vitamins can cause side effects. (See Vitamin Supplementation: “Overdosing”)
Since water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body to any appreciable extent, marginal deficiencies can develop quickly. For instance, if one’s diet contains less than 50% of the recommended amount of a water-soluble vitamin, deficiency of that specific vitamin may occur within 4 weeks. Therefore, it is important to consume nutrient-dense whole foods with adequate amounts of essential vitamins and supplement when otherwise necessary.