Are fat soluble vitamins not absorbed if taken without a meal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 26, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Does fat have to be present for certain vitamins to be absorbed by my body? Is taking fish oil along with the vitamins a workable substitute?

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on February 26, 2010
at 06:46 PM

It seems generally accepted that the presence of triglycerides and bile salts in the small intestine improves absorption of fat soluble vitamins - at least according to this old (1971) but informative article from the Journal of Clinical Pathology. The frustrating part is finding out how much is necessary. Is the little bit in a gram or so of fish oil enough? My guess is that yes it is based on how Dr. Weston A. Price was able to reverse deficiencies using high vitamin cod liver oil.

The study that I think Gary Wu is referring to in his answer is this one which seems to state that while the addition of avocado oil improved carotenoid absorption, the amount of avocado was not important. From the article abstract:

Neither the avocado dose nor the lipid source affected carotenoid absorption.

Note, however that they compared the use of only two lipid dosages: 12 grams and 24 grams - both of which are significantly more than one would get from even a large fish oil dose.

As a counterexample, a study was done recently showing that Vitamin D was absorbed just as well from Vitamin D fortified orange juice (which contains no fat) as it was from milk.

And to muddy the waters a bit further, perhaps we shouldn't be lumping all the fat-soluble vitamins together when discussing absorption, as this article seems to suggest (abstract only):

Highly lipophilic food microconstituents (HLFMs) with octanol-water partition coefficients log10 P(c) > 8 include the fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D and K) and phytochemicals with potential health benefits, the carotenoids and phytosterols. It has been assumed that these compounds have the same metabolism in the human upper gastrointestinal tract and that they follow the same fate as lipids. However, a literature review shows that the metabolism of HLFMs in the upper gastrointestinal tract depends on each HLFM species. For example, some HLFM esters are hydrolyzed mainly by pancreatic lipase, others by bile salt-stimulated lipase; some HLFMs are apparently absorbed by passive diffusion, others by a transporter. Also, although some factors (HLFM molecular species, fat, food matrix) affect absorption efficiency of most HLFMs, other factors (fibers, microconstituents) apparently affect absorption only of some HLFMs.

I think best practice is to get your fat soluble vitamins from/with fatty food but that a dose of fish oil should suffice as an absorptive crutch for most people.



on February 26, 2010
at 05:25 PM

Yes. Research has been done, for example, that shows that beta-carotene (a fat soluble vitamin A precursor) in vegetables is negligibly absorbed unless there is sufficient fat in the salad dressing.



on February 26, 2010
at 04:11 PM

Probably not enough to get a sufficient bile response to allow for efficient absorption. Why not eat more fat anyway?



on June 04, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Natural vitamins are essential in our nourishment but also for the significantly greater level can't be made by the system. For that reason, you must acquire vitamins by a proper diet. Vitamins really act as important co-factors with regard to adequately managing the body's metabolic reactions and even biochemical operations.

Whenever your eating routine is inadequate in natural vitamins, a number of neurological capabilities tend to be interrupted, causing suboptimal wellness in addition to a large number of condition problems exclusively in connection with nutrition unbalances. Vitamins are called fat soluble and also water soluble. What this means is they're blended and then held in possibly the fat cells of your system or perhaps the water tissue.

Useful article: www.thevitaminmag.com

Fatsoluble vitamins are generally held in the stores of fat body system tissue which enable it to for that reason turn out to be attracted on when they're not attained day-to-day with the diet plan. This could cause all of them really accessible for a length of time regardless of whether your daily diet turns into incredibly poor. Eventually, on the other hand, the reserves of fatsoluble vitamins may be used up and definately will must be refreshed from the diet regime. As these fat soluble vitamins usually are not quickly passed through your physique, extreme ingestion of fatsoluble vitamins could cause poisoning. The fatsoluble vitamins tend to be vitamins A, D, E, and also K.

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