Holistic Nutrition: Of Vitamin A

This pic represents a good idea of how eating a whole nutrient dense food. You have B's, A' C's and much more. in one bowl.

Salam walakum wa rahmatuAllahi wa barkatoh, Good Evening, Morning, afternoon.
I am really hoping you are all doing well and are in good health.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and an essential nutrient for humans. What does fat-soluble mean? : A vitamin that can dissolve in fats and oils. Vitamins are nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to stay healthy and work the way it should. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed along with fats in the diet and are stored in the body’s fatty tissue and the liver. 

Side note: This is why it’s important to eat healthy fresh nutrient fat… I know that seems to be an oxymoron but it’s too important… If you look at the society that we live in right now eating highly processed vegetable oil supposedly trying to avoid fat.

Vitamin A, What functions in the body?:

  • immune function,
  • cellular communication
  • growth and development
  • male and female reproduction
  • playing a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, 
  • lungs, 
  • eye and other organs 

So how much should we have daily? 

  •  RDA: The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults 19 years and older is 900 mcg RAE for men (equivalent to 3,000 IU) 
  • 700 mcg RAE for women (equivalent to 2,333 IU).

Because it’s fat-soluble (if taking supplements) you have to take care of over-dosing.. (will touch more below the blog) 

Without the proper vitamin A-amount in your body. Your body becomes deficient. Signs of deficiency : 

  • Xerophthalmia is a severe dryness of the eye that if untreated can lead to blindness
  • Nyctalopia or night blindness
  • Irregular patches on the white of the eyes
  • Dry skin or hair
  • Experience more infections and harder to get over them. 
  • Stunt of growth

**Additionally, a secondary deficiency may occur in people who have underlying issues that interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin A, such as those with:

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Celiac disease
  • Duodenal bypass
  • Bile duct obstruction
  • Cirrhosis

So now maybe you have seen that you may have symptoms. What do you do? 

  1. Go to your primary doctor and ask them to do a blood test. Its very important to know your Vitamin levels before taking any supplements as I said before this is a fat-soluble vitamin so overdosing is possible

    Signs of Overdose
  • Coarse hair,
  • partial loss of hair (including the eyebrows),
  • cracked lips,
  • dry, rough skin
  • Vision changes such as blurry sight
  • Bone pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to bright light like sunlight

Another important reason to have a test will help gauge how your body is absorbing the vitamin. Maybe test every month.

Let’s say you find out that you’re low. Then we have to figure out why? Is it diet, lack of eating food that has vitamin A in it? Malabsorption issues?

When we find out Why it is always easier to find out How to rightly heal it.
It’s super important to eat a whole nutrient-dense diet. Meaning that our foods are not processed, lacking any time of benefits .

Some food high in Vitamin A:

Beef Liver — 713% DV per serving… 17,997 IU

Lamb Liver — 236% DV per serving. ..21,202 IU

Liver Sausage — 166% DV per serving. ..14,051 IU

Cod Liver Oil — 150% DV per serving. .. 4,500 IU

King Mackerel — 43% DV per serving. … * I couldn’t find*

Salmon — 25% DV per serving. …

Bluefin Tuna — 24% DV per serving. …

Goose Liver Pâté — 14% DV per serving.

Quite frankly foods we do not eat much of these types of food anymore… if you compare this to the highest confused fruit (the tomato) is 833. The livers ..have a much higher amount. But, maybe you don’t eat meat. That is Ok! Eating a nutrient-dense diet of vegetables is possible… So for example we have the tomato, which is a good amount of Vitamin A. Other vegetables that are high in Vitamin A are: 

  • Spinach
  • sweet potato
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Melons
  • Mango
  • Pumpkin!

Eating a whole nutrient-dense diet will be important to helping the symptoms. Also, our bodies were created to extract the vitamins and minerals (unless there is a health condition) and put them where they belong from the food we eat.
So let’s say that you are eating a whole diet high in vitamin A but still need to take supplements. Then great news! There are food source multivitamins that would be more better at absorbing then synthetic vitamins.

Could it be that you’re so low you have to do both(whole food diet and multivitamins) ? Sure but again have the test beforehand so you have a starting point and make sure you check it once a month. To know your levels are and how you quickly or how well they absorbing.

Remember this didn’t happen overnight. So do not expect to fix it overnight. Have patience, and be good to yourself. You got this!

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