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Can the body store water-soluble vitamins?

Commented on January 16, 2014
Created January 15, 2014 at 7:29 PM

So I hear often that water-soluble vitamins must be consumed daily because excess amounts of them cannot be stored in the body. However, I've also heard that this is not the case. For example, thiamine, a water-soluble B-vitamin, can apparently be stored in the body in amounts up to 30 mg, lasting apparently around 3 weeks if thiamine is not consumed. If that's the case, a B-50 complex of B-vitamins taken only like once a week is all one needs to take, right? Not every day because the vitamins are actually stored, right?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 16, 2014
at 12:45 PM

Except we have a limited ability to absorb vitamins/minerals in a sitting. We need 10 mg of zinc a day to stay zinc replete (according to DV), consuming 100 mg in a sitting doesn't mean we absorb that 100 mg. It's likely upwards of 90% of a megadose is simply lost, moving through GI track before it can be fully absorbed.

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32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 16, 2014
at 12:05 AM

Yes, we store water-soluble vitamins/minerals. The liver has stores of a number of vitamins/minerals. And this makes sense… why do we humans eat animal livers? Because the nutrients are concentrated/stored there. What's found there? Vitamins A (fat-soluble I know), B12, copper in large amounts, with the rest of the B complex family and selenium too in lesser amounts.

Vitamin C is "stored" in serum, and a few other tissues. We don't store too much of it because at high concentration it acts as a pro-oxidant (that's why our body quickly eliminates any excess). Because vitamin C is recycled very well, the small stores in serum lasts for quite a while before deficiency symptoms crop up. On the order of weeks to months.

If we didn't store any, we would require some in the diet every day, we know this is not the case. B12 can last for years (which is why vegans can seemingly stay healthy despite no B12 in their diet). Of course, if something caused stress in the body that caused loss of recycling capabilities or caused the rapid consumption of it, deficiency will set in.

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Af9e23fd927bacc1ad31e83db69f454e

on January 16, 2014
at 03:00 AM

After reading some answers and doing some more research, I'm starting to think the supplement industry wants people to believe they need to take certain vitamins every day so they can make more money. Really though, it would seem like supplementing every once in a while, in higher amounts, and not daily is fine.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 16, 2014
at 12:45 PM

Except we have a limited ability to absorb vitamins/minerals in a sitting. We need 10 mg of zinc a day to stay zinc replete (according to DV), consuming 100 mg in a sitting doesn't mean we absorb that 100 mg. It's likely upwards of 90% of a megadose is simply lost, moving through GI track before it can be fully absorbed.

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5b65bdb7a2385333dff64b40b575fddd

on January 15, 2014
at 07:52 PM

Not really sure about this one. In terms of Vit C I would say definitely no. With Vit B if supplementing would always needs a daily dose and where Vit B deficient i.e. in alcoholism, large doses of Vit B given three times a day. On the whole I am not a fan of Vitamin supplementation in healthy adults with good dietary intake. So would look at water soluble vitamins in diet (because of all the other goodies that come along with it). I hope that's helpful?

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