What are fat-soluble vitamins (A and D) and their functions?


In this section, you will be to understand the concept and functions of fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are present in food containing fats. As for the kinds of vitamins concerned, there are basically two types of vitamins, water-soluble vitamins, and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are part of fat-soluble vitamins. They play a vital role in maintaining and controlling different processes in our bodies. Vitamins do not produce as naturally in our body, so we have to get them from food. Our body needs its small quantity daily. Their deficiency causes severe complications in the body. Let’s learn about fat-soluble vitamins and their functions.


Fat-soluble vitamins meaning

As for as the definition of fat-soluble vitamins is concerned, these vitamins are readily soluble in fats. They include vitamins A, D, E, and K. We obtain all vitamins either water-soluble vitamins or fat-soluble vitamins from our diet because they don’t produce naturally in our body.

Now we discuss the functions, sources, and deficiency hazards of all types of fat-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is also called Retinol. In 1915 it was discovered by MC Collumin. Vitamin A is basically complex alcohol and is present in the forms of vitamin A1 and vitamin A2. It maintains the normal visual process of the eyes.

Vitamin A maintains the normal visual process of the eyes. It is a component of rods and cone cells. It attaches with a protein called opsin to form rhodopsin which assists in rod vision in dim light. Vitamin A plays a significant role in both dark light images and in color vision. It also relates to normal reproduction e.g. in males it helps in the process of spermatogenesis (sperm formation), while in females it blocks fetal resorption. It also helps in the production of glycoproteins and glycolipids particularly present in goblet cells which secret mucous. Vitamin A is necessary for the normal development and growth of bones and teeth. It takes part in the metabolism of carbohydrates (conversion of sugar into glycogen). It boosts immune system activity. It also controls the skinning process of shedding dead skin cells and kills the bacteria. Vitamin A takes part in protein synthesis and nucleic acid metabolism. The vitamin is also involved in the biosynthesis of glucocorticoids.

The major deficiency of vitamin A is the problem of vision and eyes. Severe causes xerophthalmia. It is a medical problem in which the eyes lack the ability to produce tears. Keratomalacia is an eye disorder that results because of vitamin- A deficiency. Symptoms of keratomalacia include poor vision at night or in the dim night or at night (night blindness), keratomalacia

blindness, and dryness of the eyes along with progressive cloudiness, wrinkling, and increasing corneas softening. Keratinizing metaplasia is a medical disorder affecting the epithelial surfaces of conjunctiva and cornea caused by dietary vitamin- A deficiency. When vitamin A is below the normal quantity in the body, several epithelial linings of the body are affected, and they become keratinized. The oral cavity, nasal passage, and respiratory tract are usually affected. Low sperm production in males and disturbance of menstrual cycles in females is due to the deficiency of vitamin A. Increased chances of stones formation in the urinary tract, delayed dentition, and malformation of bones and teeth all are consequences of deficiency of vitamin A..
Beef liver, Milk, Cantaloupe, mango, Eggs, fish oil, Tomatoes, leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrot pumpkin) red bell pepper, cheese, papaya, maize, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, yogurt

Now you will learn vitamin D’s functions, sources, and deficiency consequences.
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is that type of fat-soluble vitamin which boosts the ability to absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine. It is also called calciferol. There are about 10 vitamin D compounds named D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, and D7. D8. D9 and D10. Amongst all the types of the vitamin, vitamin D2 has an antiarthritic feature e.g. calciferol and ergosterol.
Ultraviolet radiations are responsible for the formation of vitamin D in the skin of the human body. Other best sources of vitamin D are fish liver oil, the liver of animals, eggs, butter, and fortified milk.
Other nutritious sources of vitamin D are Cod liver oil, Tuna fish, sardines, swordfish, beef liver, fortified cereals, cheese, salmon, juices, mackerel, and egg yolk.
As for the functions of vitamin D, it is necessary reasons, including maintaining strong and healthy teeth and bones. The vitamin is necessary for balancing the hormones in your body. Vitamin D is also responsible for the protection against a variety of conditions and diseases e.g. type 1 diabetes. The vitamin supports the immune system (white blood cells), nervous system, and brain. It controls insulin levels in the blood and protects against diabetes management. Maintains lung function and supports cardiovascular health—Vitamin D influences gene expression which can cause cancer.
Daily requirements
• Recommended for infants (0-12 months) = 400 IU (10 mcg)
• For children 1-18 years = 600 IU (15 mcg) • Aged persons (70) years = 600 IU (15 mcg)
• Over 70 years persons = 800 IU (20 mcg)
• For pregnant or lactating women = 600 IU (15 mcg)

A person deficient in vitamin D may have the following deficiency signs,

 Fatigue

 Bone and back pain
 Infection and sickness
 Hair loss
 Poor wound healing
 Low mood
 Pregnancy complications
 Pain in muscles

How to overcome vitamin D deficiency


It should be kept in mind that the chances you are vitamin D deficiency are very, very large. In order to overcome vitamin D deficiency, you should get all about 25-30 minutes of direct sunlight a day, and when you are getting that sun, indeed, just 25 minutes of sunlight is the equivalent of getting 20,000 IUs of vitamin D. It is estimated that an average person should be getting about 5,000 IUs of vitamin D a day, and most of the people even in the summer months are not getting more vitamin D because they are indoors all the time, they are wearing much clothing. The first step in overcoming vitamin D deficiency is getting outside more. The second step in increasing your vitamin D is getting through the diet you take, and your highest food sources of vitamin D are fish like salmon. Fermented dairy products like yogurt, cheeses, and kefir are also sources of vitamin D.

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