The Fat-Soluble Vitamin Profile includes the test of vitamins A (beta-carotene and retinol), D, E (alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) and vitamin K and is an excellent asset for a complete assessment of the nutritional status of the body.
Who should test for Fat-Soluble Vitamin Profile?
Those who have symptoms, signs, or laboratory findings that indicate a lack of some vitamins
- Disorders of the skin and mucous membranes and especially lesions in the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis)
- Redness of the face
- Red or white pimples like those of acne
- Hair loss, alopecia, brittle hair, and nails
- Nervous system disorders (hallucinations, numbness, irritability, dementia, amnesia)
- Anemia, increased homocysteine
Those at risk for vitamin deficiency
- Gastrointestinal surgeries
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
- Unbalanced diet
- Extreme diets
- Pregnancy, lactation
- Intense physical exercise
Those who use systematic dietary supplements
Vitamin A is a very important ingredient, essential for good vision, mucosal and skin health, production of sperm and eggs, immune system function, growth, cell division, bone metabolism, antioxidant defense, and cancer prevention. Symptoms and signs of vitamin A deficiency include: difficulty seeing especially at night, bruising of the skin, acne and dry skin, decreased resistance to disease, poor growth. Preformed vitamin A is found mainly in meat, eggs, and fish.
Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble micronutrient that is a precursor to vitamin A. Therefore, a deficiency or decrease in beta-carotene can lead to a deficiency of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the form of vitamin A derived from plant sources (green or orange vegetables and fruits). The body converts β-carotene to vitamin A if the thyroid gland is functioning normally and the patient does not have diabetes.
Vitamin D can be classified into two families, ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3), known collectively as calciferol. Cholecalciferol is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. The main function of vitamin D in the body is related to the absorption, transport, storage, and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D plays a vital role in the function of the immune system and is essential for maintaining good health. An excellent source of vitamin D is sun exposure. Other sources of vitamin D include butter, eggs, milk, cod liver oil, and fish.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant for tissues, helping to neutralize free radicals and protect cells. Vitamin E is mainly found in two forms. The most active alpha-tocopherol is found in the European diet where the main dietary sources are olive oil and sunflower oil and gamma-tocopherol which is the most common form in the American diet due to the higher intake of soybean oil and corn oil.
Vitamin K is an important factor in the synthesis of blood coagulation factors as well as bones, cartilage, and blood vessels proteins. The most important source of vitamin K is vitamin K1 (phylloquinone or phytomenadione) which comes from green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils and vitamin K2 (menaquinone) which comes from the function of the intestinal microbiome. Synthetic vitamin K3 (menadione) has toxic effects.