Difference Between Water-Soluble and Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Introduction image

Difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins is primarily due to the difference in the process of absorption and excretion rates inside a body.
Absorption: Water-soluble vitamins are readily absorbed in the small intestine, while fat-soluble vitamins are first absorbed in the lymph, later stored inside a liver and fatty tissues.
Excretion: Water-soluble vitamins swiftly excrete out of the body, whereas fat-soluble vitamins remain in a body for much more extended periods.

Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are the two major classes or groups of vitamins that are required to maintain good health. As we all know, our diet should be balanced, which means we must take food supplemented with all the vitamins in trace amounts.

Content: Water-Soluble Vs Fat-Soluble Vitamins

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition
  3. Types
  4. Key Differences
  5. Similarities
  6. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

PropertiesWater-soluble vitaminsFat-soluble vitamins
TypesVitamin B and CVitamin A, D, E and K
SolubilityIn waterIn lipids
AbsorptionIn the small intestineIn the lymphatic system
TransportMoves into the body via diffusion through the bloodstreamRequires carrier matrix for the transportation
ConsumptionBody tissues quickly consume these vitamins, which need to replenish daily in our dietNot readily consumed by the body and need to replenish periodically in our diet (once a week or a month)
ExcretionEasily excreted through urineNot readily excreted
ToxicityRarely cause toxicityCan cause toxicity if its quantity overdoses
StorageAll the vitamins replace out the body quickly, except vitamin-B12 (stores in liver).In the liver and adipose tissues


Water-Soluble Vitamins: As the term indicates, these vitamins will soluble in water. It can define as the vitamins-B complex and vitamin-C that are readily absorbed, consumed by the body tissues and excreted by the kidneys through urine. Water-soluble vitamins do not store in our body for future cell activities. This group of the vitamin should be regularly supplemented in our diet, as these are readily degraded or consumed by our body. Water-soluble vitamins do not cause toxicity, but sometimes if vitamin-C is taken in excess, it leads to cause diarrhoea.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: As the term indicates, these vitamins will be soluble in lipids or fatty acids. It can define as the vitamins-A, D, E and K that neither readily absorbed and consumed by the body tissues nor readily excreted by the kidneys through urine. Fat-soluble vitamins occupy mainly in the liver and adipose tissues for future cellular functions. Our body requires fat-soluble vitamin in very minute quantities, as these degrade slowly by the body. If a person consumes fat-soluble vitamins in a high amount, then it leads to toxicity, which can cause serious health problems.


Based on solubility or absorbtion inside a body, there are two significant categories of vitamins named as water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. But, depending on the various functions of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, it can further classify into the following forms:

Types of water and fat-soluble vitamins

Types of Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin-B1 or Thiamine: It helps in energy metabolism by converting food into energy, and also coordinates the workings of RNA and DNA together. Vitamin-B1 also maintains the cardiovascular and nervous system healthy.

Vitamin-B2 or Riboflavin: It plays an essential role in promoting healthy muscle, skin, vision etc. and also mediates a chemical transformation of tryptophan into niacin.

Vitamin-B3 or Niacin: It helps in providing energy metabolism to our body by converting food into energy. Besides that, vitamin-B3 keeps a nervous system and cardiovascular system healthy, and also promotes strength to the skin, hairs, nails etc.

Vitamin-B5 or Pantothenic acid: It also provides energy to the body by converting food into chemical energy. Vitamin-B5 aids in overall cell growth and development and also supports the functioning of the adrenal gland and also contributes by forming haemoglobin.

Vitamin-B6 or Pyridoxine: It helps in energy metabolism by converting food into cellular energy. Vitamin-B6 reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and also contributes by forming RBCs, insulin, serotonin, haemoglobin etc.

Vitamin-B7 or Biotin: It facilitates the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. Vitamin-B7 promotes a healthy nervous system, skin, hair, nails etc. and also controls the blood sugar level.

Vitamin-B9 or Folic acid: It performs a key role in maintaining a healthy nervous system, repairs DNA damage caused due to toxins, and aids in the formation of blood cells.

Vitamin-B12 or Cobalamin: It aids in the formation of blood cells, and participates in the functioning and development of the nervous system. According to the research, vitamin-B12 also prevents megaloblastic anaemia.

Vitamin-C: It aids in the synthesis of collagen (a structural element of blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and bones). Vitamin-C functions as an antioxidant, which prevents cell in counter to reactive oxygen species. It performs a profound role in an immune system by stimulating the production of WBCs.

Types of Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin-A: It maintains eye, skin, bone health etc. and also shows antioxidant property that protects the cell against free radicals. Vitamin-A helps in cell repairing and also keeps healthy and glowing skin.

Vitamin-D: It facilitates homeostasis of calcium and potassium ions in the blood, and is necessary to strengthen bones and our immune system. Vitamin-D also supports cardiovascular health.

Vitamin-E: It shows an antioxidant property, provides immunity to the body to fight off infection and helps in muscle repairing.

Vitamin-K: It plays a fundamental role in blood coagulation, prevents from excessive bleeding and maintains bone and heart health. Vitamin-K also shares a property of wound healing, i.e. repairs the damaged cells or tissues.

Key Differences Between Water-Soluble and Fat-Soluble Vitamins

  1. Absorption: Water-soluble vitamins of dietary origin quickly absorb in the small intestine, whereas few synthesize in the large intestine by the microbial activity, and absorb there. Fat-soluble vitamins not easily absorb in the small intestine and require bile or lipids for the adsorption.
  2. Transport: Water-soluble vitamins travels into the body by entering into the bloodstream via diffusion, while fat-soluble vitamins require protein carriers for its transportation into the body through the blood.
  3. Consumption: Fat-soluble vitamins do not promptly consume by the body. Oppositely, the body tissues directly consume water-soluble vitamins.
  4. Storage: The fat-soluble vitamins store inside the cells refers to as “Lipocytes” for future activities. Water-soluble vitamins consume readily by the body, so it does not linger inside the body.
  5. Excretion: Water-soluble vitamins gets quickly excrete out of the excretory system (Kidney), whereas fat-soluble vitamins remain in a body for a more extended period or slowly excrete out by the kidney.


  1. A body requires both the kinds of vitamins in our diet as trace elements.
  2. Our body requires both water and fat-soluble vitamins to acquire good health and metabolism.
  3. Both water and fat-soluble vitamins must include in our diet so as to avoid vitamins deficiencies.
  4. Our body needs all the vitamins through the different plant and animal sources to fulfil the necessity of a balanced diet.


Finally, we can conclude that water and fat-soluble vitamins perform a distinct role in our body. Still, both are necessary for the functioning, growth, maintenance of the body tissues, and also to conduct various metabolic reactions inside a body.

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