I feel like it’s been ages since I have posted. Life with triplets and a burgeoning private clientele gets in the way of posting sometimes but my hope is things find a more regular rhythm soon and we will begin to share even more information on balancing health than ever before. I have so many things to share with you as I have advanced my studies in bioidentical hormones and Integrative Medicine, metabolics studies, and nutritional biochemistry and have an even firmer grasp on what it takes to heal the entire body in a way that doesn’t stress you out as another “severe” diet perpetuating yet another cycle.
Although I do not condone using handfuls of supplements to deal with nutritional imbalances, there are a few “mononutrient” supplements I feel benefit a large number of both men and women with a variety of health challenges.
Vitamin A is one of those nutrients I recommend to a great deal of my clients as the benefits as a supplement especially when working with clients having blood sugar handling issues, estrogen dominance, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, and/or gastrointestinal issues such as nutrient malabsorption, leaky gut and even IBS, Chron’s Disease, and Celiac’s disease.
So what’s so special about Vitamin A?
Vitamin A has many benefits in the body. Here are a few reasons to make Vitamin A important to you::
* Vitamin A is a co-factor of both Vitamin D and Vitamin K. It’s presence is required to properly assimilate both of these essential nutrients.
* Repair and regeneration of both the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract protecting against pollutants and encouraging necessary gastric juices to be secreted for proper digestion and assimilation of proteins.
* Tissues lining the kidney, bladder and genital organs are all kept healthy by Vitamin A.
* Vitamin A is imperative for eye health and may reduce the incidence of Macular degeneration, night blindness and other vision disturbances. Retinol is a major component in the retina.
* Opposition to estrogen and promotion of progesterone synthesis is a superstar role of Vitamin A!!! If you are estrogen dominant you might consider not only eating high quality liver, eggs, and cream but running not walking to get the supplement I will recommend below!!
* Both the immune and reproductive systems are highly dependent on Vitamin A to perform optimally.
* Vitamin A maintains the integrity of both the mucosal and skin cells. Want to stay looking young?? Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin A.
* Acne, dandruff, eczema and other skin disorders are often caused by a Vitamin A deficiency.
* Vitamin A is also important for the bones, teeth, blood and our genetic material, ribonucleic acid (RNA).
** It should be noted that a Vitamin A deficiency can be present if one has symptoms of estrogen dominance as a deficiency in Vitamin A can mimic estrogen effects.
** Low libido??? You might need to boost Vitamin A.
Before you go thinking “But I eat loads of carrots and peppers so I get all the Vitamin A I need!” let me clear up a few misconceptions about the definition of Vitamin A, how it is absorbed and the problems associated with relying only on vegetables as a means to getting an adequate amount of Vitamin A or using a “pill” as supplementation.
First there are two types of Vitamin A; Provitamin A and Pre-formed Vitamin A (retinol). The former is essentially not Vitamin A until it is converted from beta carotene and other carotenes into Retinol (Vitamin A). These carotenes are found in carrots, red and yellow peppers, broccoli and other vegetables and even certain fruits. The latter is Vitamin A that has already been formed for utilization in various forms of retinoic acid. These pre-formed retinoids (Vitamin A) are found only in animal products such as egg yolks, liver, and full fat dairy (especially cream and especially raw!). Liver is particularly good (make sure the animal is grass-fed and pastured for the best possible quality) as the liver contains the full range of vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal absorption (co-factors).
Speaking of conversion of carotenes to Vitamin A; it might surprise you to know that a vast number of people may have problems with the conversion. Co-factors vitamin C, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein must be present for conversion. Low thyroid function and other metabolic challenges and poor protein assimilation can contribute to the impairment or inability to convert carotenes to Vitamin A. It should be highlighted that the majority of people with any kind of thyroid dysfunction will likely have a deficiency is Vitamin A.
Also, conversion of carotenes from vegetables such carrots, yellow and red peppers, green leafy vegetables and broccoli occurs in the upper intestinal tract. In a normal, healthy adult with optimal digestion it takes 12 units of beta carotene to to produce one unit of Vitamin A. If there is any impairment be it thyroid, liver detox pathways, blood sugar handling, GI issues, or other inflammation, this conversion is further reduced. Incidentally, children do not convert carotenes easily and infants do not make this conversion.
Getting enough Vitamin A would be easiest to accomplish with animal sources. A 3 oz. serving of beef liver, for example, contains 6582 mcg. or 444% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A. 1/2 cup of raw carrots contain 482 mcg. (I do urge you to include raw carrots into your nutrition plan as they have extraordinary estrogen binding properties but less so for Vitamin A absorption.) 1/2 cup of pumpkin contains 488 mcg.
Again, fruits and vegetables are amazing sources of essential nutrients but to eat them and expect to extrapolate and convert all the Vitamin A required if your digestion is less than optimal is a pipe dream.
How do you make sure you are getting enough Vitamin A??
I do recommend my clients get Vitamin A through high quality animal sources. Liver once a week along with a few eggs, some raw full-fat dairy and you have a delicious source of not only Vitamin A but a myriad of other important minerals and vitamins, many of them co-factors.
Because life often gets in the way of eating well, I do recommend Nutrisorb A as a supplement. This little bottle packs a powerful punch when used topically. Because Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and many are recovering from years of polyunsaturated fat ingestion and do not get enough saturated fats, taking a supplement orally is of little use in the presence of most health challenges. Taking Nutrisorb A topically is a highly assimilable way to boost Vitamin A without worrying about toxicity.
Containing only three ingredients; water, glycerin and retinol in the form of retinyl palmitate, an ester of retinol (vitamin A) that is combined with palmitic acid making it highly absorbable by the skin, using just a few drops of Nutrisorb A will help clear skin, improve vision, help you sleep better, boost immune function and even help prevent bone loss.
This little bottle works easily into any personal care regimen as it is as simple as dabbing on a perfume!
A word about Vitamin A toxicity…
Although there is a lot of hysteria about Vitamin A in high doses (because Vitamin A is one of the most important essential co-factors in the metabolization of most other essential nutrients), it is unlikely you will overdose on Vitamin A. Unless your diet contains nothing but liver, a few hundred egg yolks, and pounds and pounds of butter every single day you are pretty safe with two drops of Nutrisorb A, liver once or twice a week, a few eggs, a splash of cream and a stick of butter every day. In fact, moderate Vitamin A routinely utilized in your diet is more beneficial than worrying about whether you are getting too much!