Fat-Soluble vs. Water-Soluble Nutrients

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 1 minute

You store your vitamins in a special cabinet away from the heat and humidity of the kitchen and bathroom. You take them at the same time every day, with a tall glass of water. But did you know there’s a big difference between certain common supplements – one that affects how and when you should take them?

Shop for water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamin supplements.

The difference is how they’re absorbed and stored by your body.

Get to know water-soluble nutrients

  • Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and  C, dissolve in water in the small intestine and are then carried off to the body through the bloodstream.
  • If you consume too much of a water-soluble nutrient, the excess is excreted through your urine.
  • Water-soluble nutrients don’t linger in your system, and therefore require daily replenishment.

All about fat-soluble nutrients

  • Fat-soluble nutrients, on the other hand, require the presence of fat to be properly absorbed.
  • They are carried through the body and stored in cells known as lipocytes.  
  • Because fat-soluble nutrients can build up in your body, it’s important to ensure you’re not consuming excessive amounts.
  • Fat-soluble nutrients include vitamins A, D, E and K – if you take a supplement that contains any of these nutrients, be sure to consume a small amount of healthy fat as well. A handful of nuts or a spoonful of olive oil works well. (Yum!)