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What is Vitamin A?

With the last two years dealing with the pandemic, I have seen an increase in people being more conscious about their health whether it is exercising and/or eating healthier.

There is an increased usage of vitamins especially to assist with the immune system.

Today, let’s talk about Vitamin A.

Vitamin A presents in two forms.

Beta carotene (alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin) can be found in vegetables, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Retinol, retinal, retinoid acid, and retinal esters which are found in the liver, kidney, egg yolk, and butter.

Vitamin A assists with vision, promoting growth and development, and protecting epithelium and mucus integrity in the body (skin, urinary system, lungs, and digestive system). It prevents abnormalities in the development of the cornea and conjunctiva. Vitamin A also helps with supporting the immune system (white blood cells).

Vitamin A’s metabolites such as isotretinoin are used for acne.

Retinoids decrease fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production. Retinoids also assist with fading age spots, softening rough skin patches, and activating the production of new blood vessels in the skin.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin A is 3,000 IU (900mcg) daily in males and 2300 IU (700mcg) daily in females. This is found in a daily multivitamin. There are specific populations that require a higher daily dose of Vitamin A which includes digestive disorders who are at risk of deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E, and K).

Too much of anything is never a good thing! Toxicity of vitamin A causes non-specific side effects such as headache, nausea, fatigue, dry skin, muscle pain, alopecia, irritability, etc.

How much is too much?

Acute toxicity is considered to be >660,000 IU of Vitamin A or chronic use of 10x the RDA of Vitamin A daily.

Questions, Comments, Feedback? Give it to me! Plus, I want to know if you want to know more about Vitamins!

Dr. A

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