Did you know vitamin A is the first vitamin to officially be named, earning it the letter A as it identifier.  Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which helps to produce retinal.  Retinal is needed in the body to help your retina function properly.   When vitamin A was first being researched, retinal or performed vitamin A was researcher’s main focus.  Research has now shifted more towards provitamin A.  What does this mean?  Simply that provitamin A carotenoids can be converted into retinal. Carotendoids are a family of pigments that are mostly visible to us as the yellows and oranges of fruits and vegetables.   

 A fat-soluble vitamin, such as vitamin A, is able to be stored in the body until needed for use.  The body uses mainly the liver but can also be stored in kidneys, lungs, fat tissue and eyes.  It is important to know that drinking alcohol can reduce absorption of a fat-soluble vitamin.  90% is stored in your liver, when you mix in alcohol it can deplete your ability to store it or use it when needed.  You can get vitamin A from taking a supplement however, there are many ways we can get our beta-carotene without having to take a supplement.  It can be found in foods such as carrots, winter squash, yams, pumpkin, apricots, cherries, mangos, peaches, kale, asparagus, brussles sprouts, spinach and mustard greens. 

Vitamin A performs many functions in the body including eyesight, growth and tissue healing, healthy skin, lowering cancer risk, supporting immune function, antioxidation.  It is important to also keep in mind that vitamin A works better in the body when there is sufficient body levels of zinc and protein.  It is estimated that 25% of Americans get less than have the recommended amount of daily vitamin A.   It is recommended that males and females over the age of 19 get at least 10,000IU (3,000mcg) per day.  The best part?  You can get that amount from eating 2 medium sized carrots.   Although there are “standard” recommendations for how much vitamin A you need a day, you should still consult with your local nutritionist or doctor for your specific needs.  Those who are ill have trauma, anxiety, stress, drink alcohol or smoke may need higher doses.  

If you have questions about vitamin A I would recommend talking to your local nutritionist like local San Diego Chiropractor, Dr. Henry Wong.  Many local San Diego Chiropractors can provide information about nutition, vitamins, suppliments and overall health and wellness if you have questions about what is right for you and your body.  We are all different and require different nutritional requirements for optimal health.  

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