Your body requires fat-soluble vitamins to support a variety of tissue and organ functions. Fat-soluble vitamins differ from water-soluble vitamins in that your body stores fat-soluble vitamins, primarily in the liver. Although you want to include adequate amounts of each of the fat-soluble vitamins in your diet, it is important not to take excessive doses of fat-soluble vitamin supplements. These vitamins can cause adverse health effects if they are present in high amounts in your body.
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Vitamin A, or retinol, supports your reproductive, digestive, urinary and immune systems, says the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin A also is essential to the health of your bones, skin and eyes. The Institute of Medicine's recommended daily allowance, or RDA, for vitamin A is 900 micrograms if you are an adult man; 700 micrograms if you are a nonpregnant adult woman; 770 micrograms if you are pregnant; and 1,300 micrograms if you are a nursing mother. Vitamin A-rich foods include turkey giblets, beef liver, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, collards, kale, winter squash, turnip greens and sweet red peppers.
Vitamin D helps your body build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Your nerves and muscles also require an adequate supply of vitamin D to function normally, says the National Institutes of Health. The Institute of Medicine recommends 5 micrograms of vitamin D daily if you are an adult younger than age 50. If you are age 51 to 70, the recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 10 micrograms. After age 70, your daily intake of vitamin D should be 15 micrograms. Fish is one of the few foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Types of fish that can enhance your vitamin D intake include salmon, swordfish, trout, tuna, halibut, sardines, flounder, sole, herring and perch. Vitamin D-fortified milk and cereals can also increase your intake of this fat-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin E protects your body organs and tissues from the damaging effects of reactive chemicals called free radicals. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, air pollution and tobacco smoke can increase the free radical load in your body, says the National Institutes of Health. The Institute of Medicine's RDA for vitamin E is 15 mg if you are a man or woman older than age 18. If you are a nursing mother, your RDA for vitamin E is 19 mg. Food sources of vitamin E include tomatoes, almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, turnip greens, hazelnuts, pumpkin, beet greens, and canola, safflower, corn and sunflower oils.
Your liver requires vitamin K to manufacture proteins called coagulation factors, which help your blood clot if you sustain an injury. Vitamin K also helps your body maintain healthy bones, says the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. The Institute of Medicine recommends 120 micrograms of vitamin K daily if you are an adult man and 90 micrograms if you are a woman. To enrich your intake of vitamin K, add kale, collards, spinach, turnip and beet greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus and okra to your diet.