The Ultimate Guide to 13 Vitamins - Fat Soluble Vitamins

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

- Written by Nutritionist Ng Sheng Xin

Vitamins are an essential nutrient that we need to stay healthy. There are 13 essential vitamins that the human body requires, and they are classified as either fat soluble (vitamins A, D, E and K) or water soluble (vitamins B and C).

Curious about which vitamin does what, and how to bump up your levels by making a few smart food choices and having a balanced diet? Find out more about the 13 vitamins from this post!

We will talk about water-soluble vitamins in the next post. Stay tuned!

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth.

2 Types of Vitamin A

  • Retinol - from animal sources Liver, fish liver oil, fortified milk product, cheese, cream, butter and egg

  • Beta-carotene - from plant sources Spinach, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, deep orange fruits and vegetables

Symptoms of Deficiency

  • Infectious disease such as measles

  • Night blindness

  • Dry eye

  • Dry skin

Risk of Overdose

  • Bone thinning

  • Birth defects

  • Coarse hair or partial loss of hair

  • Cracked lips

  • Dry and rough skin

  • Liver damage

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight.


  • Promotes bone growth

  • Increases calcium absorption

  • Supports immune health

Dietary Sources

  • Oily fish

  • Egg yolk

  • Fortified soy milk

  • Fortified cereals

  • Margarine

  • Butter

Symptoms of Deficiency

  • Calcium deficiency in the body

  • Seizures

  • Rickets

  • Decreased muscle performance

  • Osteoporosis

  • Osteomalacia (bones become increasingly soft, flexible, brittle and deformed)

Risk of Overdose

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Frequent urination

  • Increase concentration of blood calcium, contribute to the formation of kidney stones

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.


  • Antioxidant (stop the production of free radicals in the body)

  • Maintains healthy skin and eye

  • Strengthen immune system

  • Promotes normal arterial function

Dietary Sources

  • Vegetable oils

  • Seeds

  • Nuts

  • Spinach

  • Broccoli

  • Wheat germ

  • Liver

  • Egg yolk

Symptoms of Deficiency

  • Difficulty with walking or coordination

  • Muscle pain or weakness

  • Visual disturbances

  • Neuromuscular dysfunction

Risk of Overdose

  • Muscle weakness

  • Fatigue

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Interfere with the blood clotting action of vitamin K

Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a key role in helping the blood clot and preventing excessive bleeding.


  • Blood clotting

  • Bone protein metabolism

  • Promotes the absorption of calcium from the bloodstream to the bone and protect against bone fractures

  • Regulates blood calcium levels

Dietary Sources

  • All green leafy vegetables and fruits

  • Liver

  • Green tea

  • Soybean products

Symptoms of Deficiency

  • Haemorrhaging (excessive bleeding in the body areas)

  • Bruising

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

  • Poor bone development

  • Osteoporosis

Risk of Overdose

  • Jaundice in newborns

  • Hemolytic anemia

  • Hyperbilirubinemia

  • Reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs used to prevent blood clotting