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A, D, E, and K – The Fat Soluble Vitamins

FatSolubleVitaminsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInfluenced by their molecular properties, the solubility of nutrients determines how well they will be absorbed by the body. Whether a vitamin is soluble (dissolvable) in water or in lipids influences where it can be utilized and whether any excess will be excreted or stored. Water-soluble B-complex vitamins and antioxidant vitamin C are quickly and easily utilized; any excess intake is eliminated so daily replenishment is required. Not surprisingly, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K require some dietary fat in order to be absorbed and metabolized. Excess intake of these nutrients is stored in the liver and the body’s fatty tissues until needed. Dietary fats are also required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for numerous biological processes. Vitamins A, D and K cooperate synergistically, and also work in tandem with important essential minerals like magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Nutrient deficiencies are generally the result of dietary inadequacy, impaired absorption, increased requirement, or increased excretion. While a well-balanced diet containing a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods can provide sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies are incredibly common. Unlike vitamins A, E and K that have multiple dietary sources, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. As food sources are limited, a deficiency can occur when dietary intake is insufficient over a period of time. Since vitamin D is synthesized through skin exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, restricting sunlight exposure can also create a deficiency of this nutrient. Additionally, low serum levels of vitamin D can result from inadequate digestive absorption, or the inability of the liver and kidneys to complete the synthesis of vitamin D from ultraviolet light.

Vitamin A

Also known as retinol, antioxidant vitamin A is critical for the maintenance of normal vision, as well as the growth and specialization of virtually all bodily cells. Vitamin A has important roles in embryonic development, normal immune functions, red blood cell production and free radical scavenging. Naturally present in foods such as organ meats, salmon, dairy products and colorful fruits and vegetables, vitamin A is actually a group of nutritional organic compounds that include retinol, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene. Although it is best known for the ability to support eye health, vitamin A also helps to relieve inflammation and supports bone, immune, skin and tissue health.

Vitamin D

All vitamin D, whether obtained through sunlight exposure, diet or supplementation, is biologically inert. To become biologically active it and must go through conversion, first in the liver, then in the kidneys. As optimizing vitamin D levels is important to disease prevention and long term health maintenance, one must expose large amounts of skin to the proper amount of sunlight, or supplement with vitamin D3, a highly potent, quickly converted bioactive form. Actually considered a prohormone, vitamin D has the potential to provide numerous health benefits when adequate levels are maintained. Among its many functions are the facilitation of calcium, phosphate and magnesium absorption, cell growth modulation, and inflammation reduction, as well as immune and neuromuscular support. Vitamin D may play a role in protecting against certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, autoimmune diseases and depression. As many individuals either avoid sun exposure or block ultraviolet rays with sunscreen, supplementation with vitamin D3 may be a wise choice for those who with low serum levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Required for the proper function of many organs, enzymatic activities and neurological processes, antioxidant vitamin E fights free radicals, helps reduce inflammation, and works to balance hormones naturally. Found in seeds, nuts, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables, vitamin E helps boost immunity and supports blood vessel health. Although more studies are needed, vitamin E may support cardiovascular health by helping to prevent platelet clumping and plaque buildup in blood vessels. Through its ability to fight the inflammation and oxidation linked to numerous health conditions, vitamin E may aid in the prevention of cataracts, arthritis and some cancers.

Vitamin K

Well known for its crucial role in proper blood clotting, vitamin K is also essential for building strong bones and preventing heart disease. Of the three types of vitamin K, K1, K2 and K3, natural vitamin K2 is synthesized in the digestive tract and is the form most often recommended for supplementation. Viewed as an important nutritional intervention for improved bone density, vitamin K2 aids the deposit of calcium and other important minerals into the bone matrix. Additionally, published research has indicated that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity. By aiding calcium placement in the bones, vitamin K helps to keep calcium deposits out of arteries and blood vessels, thereby preventing  arterial calcification, or atherosclerosis, that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Primarily present in leafy vegetables, vitamin K can be found in fermented foods and animal products, such as meat and dairy.

It can be nutritionally challenging to get the macro- and micro-nutrients the body requires, particularly when one is elderly or dieting, or has illnesses, allergies, or dietary restrictions that require the elimination of entire food groups. The result of sub-optimal intake of nutrients is a sub-optimal state of health. RDA’s, known also as Daily Values (DV), are typically based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. With diet alone, the average American will fail to meet RDA’s for B vitamins, vitamin D, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Even those who consciously eat a nutritious diet each day may fall alarmingly short of their RDA’s for maintaining optimal health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements in support of overall health and longevity:

Comprehensive...Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories: Micronutrient testing offers an accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies. This test measures 35 nutritional components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and metabolites, as well as amino and fatty acids. Test kit, shipping labels and complimentary post-test consultation with Registered Nurse included.


Vitamin A 10,000 IUVitamin A 10,000 IU by Pure Encapsulations®: Largely derived from Norwegian cod liver oil, this product supplies an optimum amount of vitamin A per serving in support of healthy bodily function and maintenance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Vitamin D 5,000 IUVitamin D 5,000 IU by Douglas Laboratories®: One tablet supplies 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 in support of calcium absorption, bone metabolism, and optimal health. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Natural Vitamin E...Natural Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols by Douglas Laboratories®: One softgel provides 400 IU of pure, natural alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols in support of free radical defense. Gluten and soy free formulation.


K2-7 plus D3K2-7 + D3 by Vital Nutrients: This synergistic formulation supports healthy serum calcium levels, healthy bone and calcium metabolism, and vascular elasticity. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, egg and sugar free formulation.


Nutrients and Solubility.
Which Vitamins are Water Soluble and Fat Soluble.
Vitamin D: A Hormone for All Seasons – How much is enough? Understanding the New Pressures.
The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases.



New Formulations from PSC!

PSCSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center® has added eight new formulations to our own line of professional grade nutritional supplements. These high quality products are designed to support optimal health maintenance, as well as address a variety of specific wellness needs. Scientifically researched and manufactured to the highest cGMP standards, all products are formulated with superior quality raw materials assayed for identity and purity. Professional Supplement Center adheres to truth in labeling to ensure products contain only the listed components. Products are guaranteed to contain the purest and most potent ingredients without preservatives, impurities, or artificial ingredients.

To see the complete line of Professional Supplement Center brand products, please visit

B SpectrumB Spectrum: This synergistic formulation provides a full spectrum of the highest quality B- complex vitamins in active bioavailable forms. B vitamins support adrenal, immune, cardiovascular and nervous system health, carbohydrate metabolism, and healthy mental function and mood. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, animal products, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Curcumin Pro-95Curcumin Pro-95: For maximum benefit, this professional formulation provides BCM-95®, a 100% pure natural turmeric extract complex, standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids and essential oils of turmeric rhizome. Extensively studied BCM-95® provides comprehensive efficacy in support of antioxidant activity, and joint, brain and organ health. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, animal products, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Melatonin Plus 5 mgMelatonin Plus 5 mg: This controlled release formulation delivers 5 mg of melatonin in two phases; one mg immediately released upon digestion, and the balance over a 6 hour period. Melatonin helps to promote healthy sleep patterns and provides support for antioxidant and immune activities. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, animal products, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Vegetarian formulation.

MinProMinPro: This balanced multi-mineral formula provides highly bioavailable Albion® patented and fully reacted mineral amino acid chelates, malates and mineral complexes in support of mineral nutrition, glucose/insulin metabolism, and general wellbeing. Free of wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, animal products, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Pro Multi DailyPro Multi Daily: This synergistic, comprehensive, hypoallergenic multivitamin and mineral blend provides a balanced profile of proper amounts of activated vitamins and Albion® chelated minerals in support of energy production, antioxidant protection, detoxification and overall wellness. Free of wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Pro Multi Daily...Pro Multi Daily without Copper & Iron: This hypoallergenic formulation provides proper amounts of synergistic micronutrients in bioavailable forms for optimal absorption and utilization. Pro Multi Daily without Copper and Iron supports foundational wellness, antioxidant activity and phase 1 detoxification. Free of wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Professional Choice...Professional Choice Omega: This concentrated omega-3 oil provides pure, stable EPA and DHA exclusively sourced from US caught certified sustainable wild Alaskan cold water fish. Omega-3 fatty acids support cardiovascular and joint health, proper glucose and insulin metabolism, and heathy brain and nervous system function. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, dairy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO, Alaskan IFOS Five-Star Certified formulation.

Professional Choice...Professional Choice Omega EC: This Alaskan IFOS Five-Star Certified omega-3 fish oil delivers 900 mg of pure, stable EPA and DHA in support of cardiovascular and joint health, proper glucose and insulin metabolism, and healthy brain and nervous system function. Sustainably sourced from wild Alaskan cold water fish. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, dairy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Probiotic...Probiotic Professional 30: To ensure targeted intestinal release, this shelf-stable four-strain probiotic supplement delivers 30 billion colony forming units (CFU) in a gastro-resistant capsule. These extensively studied beneficial microorganisms help support the natural immune response, bowel regularity and lactose digestion. Each vegetarian capsule is sealed in nitrogen-purged aluminum blister packs to protect from factors known to compromise stability of probiotics, such as heat, moisture, and oxygen, making them perfect for home, office or travel. Free of  wheat, gluten, soy, animal products, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

Probiotic...Probiotic Professional 100: This four-strain probiotic supplement provides 100 billion colony forming units (CFU) per gastro-resistant capsule. These extensively studied shelf-stable strains of beneficial bacteria help to maintain a healthy intestinal microecology, and provide support for the natural immune response, bowel regularity and lactose digestion. To serve as protection from factors proven to compromise stability of probiotics such as heat, moisture, and oxygen, each vegetarian capsule is sealed in a nitrogen-purged aluminum blister pack. No refrigeration required. Free of  wheat, gluten, soy, animal products, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

Intermittent Fasting – What the Science Says

IntermittentFastingSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorIntermittent fasting for general wellbeing and weight loss may seem like a relatively recent dietary trend. However, the origin of intermittent fasting can be traced back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, when a successful hunt was a time for feasting, and an unsuccessful one resulted in hunger or a period of fasting. Several hundred indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes remain in the Amazon forests, the African grasslands, the Arctic tundra and the remote islands of Southeast Asia. Their diets still consist of what they hunt or gather: game, fish, honey, and plant foods, such as tubers, berries, nuts, and fruit, and in most cases very little cultivated food. Studies of the Tsimane people, a forager-horticulturalist indigenous population of the Bolivian Amazon, reveal highly diverse microbiomes, the lowest levels of vascular aging for any population, and low levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease, likely associated with their low blood pressure, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels.

Perhaps it’s healthier to eat more sparingly, as our bodies are adapted to alternating phases of food abundance or scarcity. We would likely all be better off if we ate local fruits and vegetables, a little meat, fish and some whole grains, and were physically active for an hour or more a day. With the advent of bountiful agriculture and animal farming, the food supply became predictable and abundant, eventually leading to our current unhealthy highly processed modern diet. Today, food is continually available, and overeating is the norm. With the rising epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other diet related diseases, some wonder if we gave up a healthier diet, and consequently healthier bodies, in exchange for food security. In addition to a healthy varied diet, what if we were to skip a few meals each week, or fast every other day, or shorten the hours in which we consume food? Would we be stronger, leaner, healthier and  more energetic?

Animal studies have shown that reducing typical caloric consumption extends life span by a third or more. While the jury is still out on whether reduced intake will  increase human lifespan, data supports the idea that caloric restriction supports healthy weight maintenance, reduces the risk of developing age-related chronic and degenerative conditions, and lengthens the period of life spent in good health. Mark Mattson, head of the National Institute on Aging’s neuroscience laboratory believes that “intermittent fasting acts in part as a form of mild stress that continually revs up cellular defenses against molecular damage,” and ramps up our cellular detoxification system that rids the body of damaged molecules previously tied to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases. While not everyone agrees, researchers are focusing on intermittent fasting as a promising alternative to continuous caloric restriction for both weight loss and health promotion.

Intermittent fasting can be personalized to individual preferences:

  • The 16/8 method involves restricting your eating window to 8 – 10 hours and fasting for 14 – 16 hours daily. Hours can be flexible, but it basically means not eating until noon each day and finishing the last meal by 8 pm. Those who already skip breakfast may find this an effortless way to lose weight, as long as healthy foods are consumed during the eating hours. Those who are hungry first thing in the morning may initially find this method difficult.
  • The 5:2 diet involves eating normally five days a week and consuming two small meals totaling 500 -600 calories on two days of the week. This method may be more sustainable for long-term weight management.
  • Some choose the alternate day fasting method, which allows only 500 calories every other day. This is likely too restrictive and unsustainable long-term for most people.
  • The warrior method allows small amounts of vegetables and fruits to be eaten during the day and the consumption one large meal at night. With this method, paleo foods are preferred.
  • Spontaneous meal skipping is the least structured fasting plan where meals are skipped from time to time, essentially when one is not that hungry, can’t really decide what they feel like eating, or when stopping to eat is inconvenient. This method is basically effortless, but not the most effective for weight loss.

What happens when you fast? The body initiates important cellular repair processes, the metabolic rate increases, and insulin levels drop significantly, facilitating fat burning and weight loss. Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels, and increased amounts of norepinephrine all enhance the breakdown of body fat, enabling its use for energy production. Fasting may also enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and may help fight health damaging inflammation. While intermittent fasting can be a powerful weight loss tool, food quality is crucial. While some tout binging during the eating windows, to lose weight and improve health, a healthy whole food diet is necessary. In conclusion, intermittent fasting may be a reasonable alternative dietary strategy for those who find the more traditional daily caloric restriction difficult or time consuming.

The Evolution of Diet.
Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all populations yet studied, providing clues to healthy lifestyle.
How Intermittent Fasting Might Help You Live a Longer Healthier Life.
A randomized pilot study comparing zero-calorie alternate-day fasting to daily caloric restriction in adults with obesity.
10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.