Fat-soluble vitamin

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noun, plural: fat-soluble vitamins

Any from the group of vitamins that are insoluble in water but soluble in fat (or nonpolar) solvents


Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in trace but adequate amounts for normal growth and nutrition. The term vitamin was coined by the Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funk in 1912. It was derived from vitamine from Latin vita, meaning life, and amine after the initial discovery of thiamine (formerly aberic acid) when it was thought that all vitamins are amines.1, 2 Vitamins may be grouped as either fat-soluble or water soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are those that are insoluble in water but are soluble in fat or nonpolar solvents. In humans, there are four out of 13 vitamins that are fat-soluble. These vitamins are: (1) vitamin A, (2) vitamin D, (3) vitamin E, and (4) vitamin K. There are more water-soluble vitamins, i.e. eight B vitamins and vitamin C.

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed and tend to accumulate in the body through body lipids or fats. In contrast, water-soluble vitamins do not accumulate and are excreted readily from the body in urine.


See also:

1 Iłowiecki, Maciej (1981). Dzieje nauki polskiej. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Interpress. p. 177.
2 vitamin. Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006. Retrieved from [[1]]

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