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What is the function of fat-soluble vitamins?

Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. They have many functions from keeping your bones strong to allow your brain to tell your muscles to move.

Having a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, healthy oils and even a little time in the sun will help you meet your needs for important nutrients.

Vitamin A helps eyesight

Vitamin A helps eyesight, immune system and reproduction. It also makes your heart, lungs and kidneys work well. Preform vitamin A, or retinol, found in meat and dairy products, liver and fish oil are the best sources. Provitamin A, or beta-carotene, is found in green vegetables, oranges and yellow fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of provitamin A are carrots, spinach, broccoli, melons, apricots and pumpkins. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that you eat one to two cups, dark green leafy vegetables and three to six cups of red or orange vegetables weekly. This must meet your body's need for vitamin A.

Vitamin Sunshine

Vitamin D, as well as calcium, keep your bones strong by preventing rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Vitamin D also helps your muscles move, improves your immune function and helps reduce inflammation. Most people get their vitamin D from the sun, although some foods such as milk and cereals contain vitamin D. Added a recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU (International Unit) every day. Five to 30 minutes in the sun several times a week allows your skin to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Don't get free radicals

Vitamin E protects the body from free radicals, which are molecules that damage your cells. It also boosts the immune system and makes blood move through your veins without clotting. The best sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Green leafy vegetables and cereals also contain large amounts of vitamin E. This RDA for vitamin E is 15 mg for adults. One ounce of sunflower seeds contains more than 7 milligrams of vitamin E, and one-half cup of cooked spinach or broccoli contains almost 2 milligrams.

Help Freeze

Vitamin K allows blood to clot. The best sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, fish, meat and eggs. Vitamin K deficiency is very rare because you also make vitamin K in your intestines. The RDA for vitamin K for adults is 90 micrograms every day. Vitamin K can interfere with anticoagulant drugs so ask your health care provider about dietary restrictions you must follow if you are taking this type of medication.