Saturday, May 28, 2005

Nutrition Basics - Vitamins II

Vitamin A

Unlike the water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fat tissue andcannot be easily flushed from the body once ingested. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. They are found in a variety of food sources and often will occur together in plant foods and fish oils. In the proper amunts, these fat-soluble vitamins are basic to health, but greatly exceeding the Daily Values for these vitamins causes the body to store them in virtually limitless amounts, making it easy for toxic levels to accumulate. Once toxic levels are reached, a variety of dangerous conditions may develop, some of which can be fatal.

The form of vitamin A found in animal foods is known as retinol. Vitamin A itself is not found in plant foods, but a pigment known as beta-carotene, which the body uses to produce vitamin A, is contained in orange, deep yellow, and dark green leafy vegetables. Beta-carotine cannot normally be converted to vitamin A quickly enough to reach a toxic level. Excess beta-carotene may, however, cause a person to appear yellowish, because it is stored in fat layers just beneath the skin.
The Professional Chef, 7th Edition
by The Culinary Institute of America

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