Topic 2 Water-soluble vitamins

  • Another distinction between water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins is how they are stored in our bodies
  • Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in great quantities, meaning we must consume them daily as surplus is excreted through the urinary tract
  • There are 9 water soluble vitamins.
    • Vitamin C is the most well-known. The other 8 vitamins are included in the B complex; namely the B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, biotin, pantothenic acid and folate.

Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant. It helps produce collagen as well as various hormones, enzymes, amino acids
  • Vitamin C may reduce risk of cancer and heart disease
  • A diet rich in Vitamin C may boost the immune system and keep you healthy!
  • Too little Vitamin C or Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy. Too much (over 2000 milligrams/day) is very rare but can cause toxicity.
  • Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits, as well as in other legumes and fruits
    • NOTE! Boiling the food can reduce half of its Vitamin C content!

Vitamin B

  • 8 vitamins make up the B complex.
  • As there is an overabundance of most vitamins, deficiency is rare.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency

  • Among vegan diets, B12 vitamin deficiency is the most likely as the vitamin’s main source is animal products. Vegetarians often compensate with animal-produced products such as eggs and milk.
Main sources
Whole grain, meat, fish, (fortified bread & cereals)
Variety of foods
Meat, poultry, fish, cereal, yeast
5 aka Pantothenic acid
Almost everywhere
fish, beef liver, potatoes, starchy vegetables & fruits
7 aka Biotin
eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, certain vegetables
9 aka Folic acid
dark leafy vegetables, fruits, animal products
Animal products (fish, meat, poultry eggs, milk products)

Important to note: men often require a bit more of each vitamin than women. However, pregnant or lactating women require additional quantities!