Types Of Fat-Soluble Vitamins Explained

There are 13 essential vitamins, of which four are fat-soluble. These vitamins are vitamins K, E, A, and D. Fat-soluble means that the vitamins are generally found in foods that are high in fat, and your body absorbs them more easily when you eat them alongside another source of fat (via Healthline).

You may not hear much talk about vitamin K, but it is essential for developing strong bones as well as helping blood to clot. Studies show that the vitamin may also help improve heart health because it produces proteins that prevent hardening of the arteries. Most people do not have to worry about being deficient in this vitamin if they eat a healthy diet. However, antibiotics may inhibit the absorption of vitamin K. Recommended dosages for adults are 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women (via Harvard School of Public Health). 

Vitamin E is essential for a healthy brain, skin, and blood. The vitamin is an antioxidant, which means that it helps cells in the body fight damage created by unstable molecules known as free radicals, which can negatively impact our long-term health. Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods including meat, leafy greens, almonds, and peanuts. Some studies suggest that high doses of vitamin E can help slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease, but taking oral doses of it for an extended amount of time may increase the risk of prostate cancer and insulin resistance. Adults need 15 milligrams of vitamin E daily (via Mayo Clinic).

Vitamins A and D boost the immune system

Vitamin A is essential for good eye health as well as a healthy immune system. Rather than being a single compound, vitamin A is a combination of retinoids. Vitamin A is found in animal foods, such as liver and fish liver oil. Another form of vitamin A, called provitamin A, is present in kale, spinach, and carrots. Adults should aim to get between 700 and 900 micrograms of vitamin A daily (via Healthline). 

Along with vitamin A, vitamin D is also essential for a healthy immune system. It helps your body absorb calcium, and it is necessary for healthy muscle and nerve function. The vitamin is not present in many foods, and you may already know that your skin naturally makes this vitamin when you expose it to sunshine. The daily recommended dosage of vitamin D will vary based on age. Less is needed for children, while higher amounts are recommended for older adults. The average daily recommended amount for adults is 15 micrograms (via National Institutes of Health).