Breaking Down Food: Vitamins Explained

The Difference Between Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble

The difference between fat- and water-soluble vitamins is how they’re stored. As their name suggests, the fat-soluble vitamins — vitamins A, D, E, and K — are stored in fat or organs like the liver. Water-soluble vitamins — vitamins B and C — are regulated by the kidneys. Excess water-soluble vitamins are usually removed from the body through the urine. Water-soluble vitamins can move around the body more easily than fat-soluble vitamins since, according to the Mayo Clinic, around 60 percent of body weight is water. Take care to ensure you’re receiving the proper daily amount of water-soluble vitamins, as they are not stored as long as fat-soluble. If you eat a balanced diet, you shouldn’t need any supplements, but if you’re following a restricted diet, like vegetarianism, you may need to take a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor.

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Review Date: 
January 15, 2015

Last Updated:
January 15, 2015