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Healthier-in-6: What’s On Your Plate?

The more balanced a meal, the better and beneficial to the body. 

Below is a brief explanation of types of vitamins, their food sources, functions and deficiencies. 
Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble types, they are soluble in lipids and absorbed in fat globules. These types of vitamins are stored in the body tissues after absorption and remain in the tissues. This is why a toxic level can be accumulated if appropriate care is not taken during consumption. An excess vitamin in the tissue is referred to as hypervitominosis. Excess accumulation of vitamin A leads to birth defects, too much vitamin E leads to hemorrhaging and excess vitamin K causes an adverse effect on medicines such as  Coumadin (blood thinner) and also prevents normal blood clot. Common food sources of fat soluble vitamins are carrots, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, fish, liver, eggs, milk, whole grains, vegetable oils and nuts. Some of the functions or fat soluble vitamins are skin and vision for vitamin A, normal blood clotting for vitamin k, macronutrients metabolism and antioxidants for vitamin D and E respectively.


Water-Soluble Vitamins: The B vitamins and C are referred to as the water-soluble vitamins. They work well when appropriate amount is consumed. Some of these vitamins are not stored in the body so when consumed in excess, the body absorbs what is needed and eliminate the rest via urine. Few can be retained in the body which leads to health consequences. Examples of sure are Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) can lead to nerve problem when consumed in excess, Niacin (Vit B3) leads to flushing, vitamin C leads to kidney stones and folic acid (Vitamin B9) masks B12 deficiency.


A few of the B vitamins deficiencies are beriberi, muscle weakness confusion, growth failure, stomatitis, 3Ds- dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea, pellagra, epilepsy, stuff muscles, and spina bifida. Deficiencies for vitamin C include scurvy, and bleeding gums. Food sources of water soluble vitamins are liver, pork, wheat germ, grains, meat, milk, protein, peanuts, ready-to-eat-cereals, rice, chicken, citrus fruits and beans.


Macro & Trace Minerals: These can be absorbed from variety of food items such as dairy products, vegetables, meat, liver, kidney, yeast, eggs and legumes. The macro minerals are required in large amount for the body functions compared to the trace minerals. Macro minerals include calcium, phosphorus, chloride, sodium, potassium and trace minerals are iron, biotin, copper, zinc, fluoride and many others. Some deficiencies include, spoon shaped nails for, anemia and muscle pain. Biotin helps to metabolize the growth cell for hair root and finger nails.



Inman, J 2016, Inman’s Review of Dietetics.


This is the bonus blog post in the Healthier This Quarter series. Read the entire series HERE

Adebisi Ibrahim (BSc, MS, RDN, CDN) is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist based, in New York City. She is a Food, Dietetics, and Nutrition graduate from the Herbert Lehman College, NYC and can be reached on Facebook

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to replace consultation with a physician. Please see your doctor without delay if you have any symptoms that you are unsure of. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication or start any lifestyle changes without your own doctor’s supervision. This website is for your information only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition

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