How are water-soluble vitamins absorbed by the body?

Janet  Brill, PhD, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Water-soluble vitamins are found in  many foods we eat, such as cereal grains, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, legumes, citrus fruits and fresh vegetables. The B vitamins and vitamin C are absorbed along with water in the small intestine and then circulate through the blood. Some water-soluble vitamins (like B12 and folic acid) can be stored in your body, but to be on the safe side it is recommended that you replenish your stores of water-soluble vitamins every few days, as they are easily eliminated through urine. 
Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves. Because much of your body consists of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. (One exception is vitamin B6, which is mostly stored in muscle tissue.) Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses out of the body in your urine.

Contrary to popular belief, some water-soluble vitamins can stay in the body for long periods of time. You probably have several years' supply of vitamin B12 in your liver. And even folic acid and vitamin C stores can last more than a couple of days. Generally, though, water-soluble vitamins should be replenished every few days.

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