We often tell patients and doctors that Vitamin A is the forgotten key nutrient. Vitamin A does not get nearly the press or media time it deserves.
This key nutrient is responsible in a large part for healthy skin and epithelial cells. Those little guys are the cells which line our mouth, GI tract and even our lungs. This is why you now see so many skin lotions and skin drugs with Vitamin A derivatives.
Vitamin A is also needed if or a normal healthy immune system. In fact, during times of infection, we’ll often suggest patients take some very large amounts but just for a few days. There are however serious CAUTIONS with Vitamin A and it’s precursor beta carotene supplementation!
If you are female, pregnant or of childbearing age you need to know excess Vitamin A is teratogenic, meaning it can cause birth defects.
This is why we advise chid bearing age women take natal only formulas and be sure these are used exclusively for at least 6 months before conception. In addition to having limited Vitamin a, these formulas also contain extra Folic acid which helps prevent birth defects.
The next caution is that excess Vitamin A can be TOXIC, possibly more so in liver disease. Vitamin A Is one of the fat soluble vitamins, so it hangs around in our bodies a good bit longer than things like most B vitamins. So please work with your own health pros here on key dosages for you .
Deficiencies in this key nutrient are more likely in malabsorbtion syndromes and bowel diseases. But, if you are following the NeuropathyDR Diet & Lifestyle Plan you should be in good shape, as long as you are frequently eating carotenes, especially found in leafy green and brightly colored vegetables. Sweet potatoes are actually one of the best! We rarely advise beta carotene in high supplement amounts as a healthy diet is by far the best and likely safest.
Because Vitamin A is so critical to immune function it has roles in prevention of infection, many cancers, eye and skin disease as well.
So know you know! Don’t ignore this key nutrient! Pay careful attention to your daily vegetable and supplement intakes and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how good you can feel and look!
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