Fat-soluble vitamin intestinal absorption: absorption sites in the intestine and interactions for absorption

Food Chem. 2015 Apr 1:172:155-60. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.09.021. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


The interactions occurring at the intestinal level between the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K (FSVs) are poorly documented. We first determined each FSV absorption profile along the duodenal-colonic axis of mouse intestine to clarify their respective absorption sites. We then investigated the interactions between FSVs during their uptake by Caco-2 cells. Our data show that vitamin A was mostly absorbed in the mouse proximal intestine, while vitamin D was absorbed in the median intestine, and vitamin E and K in the distal intestine. Significant competitive interactions for uptake were then elucidated among vitamin D, E and K, supporting the hypothesis of common absorption pathways. Vitamin A also significantly decreased the uptake of the other FSVs but, conversely, its uptake was not impaired by vitamins D and K and even promoted by vitamin E. These results should be taken into account, especially for supplement formulation, to optimise FSV absorption.

Keywords: Cholecalciferol; Digestion; Enterocyte; Phylloquinone; Retinol; Tocopherol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Vitamin A / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamin D / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamin E / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamin K / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamins / pharmacokinetics*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E