What Does Water-Soluble Mean In Vitamins?

If you've ever researched vitamins, you've probably come across the term "water-soluble" to describe some of them. As the name suggests, these are vitamins that are dissolvable in water (via National Cancer Institute).

According to Healthline, there are nine water-soluble vitamins that humans should get in their diets. Those include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, and C. These vitamins have a variety of benefits, including turning nutrients into energy, helping with cellular function, synthesizing fatty acids, helping form red blood cells, maintaining brain function, and more. These types of vitamins should be consumed from food frequently because they aren't usually stored in the body. When taken, these vitamins are used in the body immediately. Any excess leaves the body through your urine.

Water-soluble vitamins differ from fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat (via Verywell Health). These are stored in the liver and fatty tissue in the body to be used when necessary. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Taking too much of any vitamin can be dangerous

While it is difficult to take too much of any water-soluble vitamin because the excess is washed out of your body through your urine, vitamin toxicity is possible. Taking too much vitamin B6, for example, can lead to liver damage (via Healthline). Other side effects of taking too many water-soluble vitamins include diarrhea, nausea, cramps, vomiting, high blood pressure, heartburn, and even impaired mental function. Always read the recommended dosage when taking vitamins and do not exceed that amount.

The safest way to get your vitamins is through food. Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and whole grains can help you get all the vitamins you need without the necessary addition of a supplement. Talk to your doctor about your diet and what the best way is for you to make up those nutrients. Depending on your health condition, your doctor may recommend taking a supplement to make up for one or two vitamin deficiencies while getting the rest through food.