The Many Functions of Vitamin A

 In Rewind, Vitamins

Did you know most skin products use Vitamin A (retinol) to prevent wrinkles?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and it’s essential for many processes in our body including skin elasticity, healthy vision, normal function of your immune system and organs and aiding the growth and development of babies in the womb.

So it’s really freaking important! And real, absorbable Vitamin A (retinol) is ONLY found in animal foods.

Vitamin A compounds are found in both animal and plant foods. However, the vitamin A found in plant foods is an inactive form and needs to be converted by our bodies to the active form of vitamin A which is a very inefficient process that makes absorption challenging. Vitamin A found in animal foods is an active form of the vitamin and it can be used as it is.

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin!

  •  It is essential for preserving your eyesight
    • This vitamin is needed to convert light that hits your eye into an electrical signal that can be sent to your brain. In fact, one of the first symptoms of vitamin A deficiency can be night blindness. Vitamin A also protects your eye from age related decline.
  • It supports our immune system and your body’s natural defenses including the mucous barriers in your eyes, lungs, gut, and genitals which help trap and clear bacteria and other infectious agents.
  • It’s also involved in the production and function of white blood cells, which help against pathogens in your bloodstream
    • This means that a deficiency in vitamin A can increase your susceptibility to infections and delay your recovery when you get sick. In fact, in countries where infections like measles and malaria are common, correcting vitamin A deficiency in children has been shown to decrease the risk of dying from these diseases.
  • It helps prevent and fight acne
  • It supports bone health.
  • It is also essential for a healthy reproductive system in both men and women.
    • Studies have shown that a deficiency blocks the development of sperm cells, causing infertility.
      o Studies have also suggested that vitamin A deficiency in females can impact reproduction by reducing egg quality and affecting egg implantation in the womb.
    • In pregnant women, vitamin A is also involved in the growth and development of many major organs and structures of the unborn child, including the skeleton, nervous system, heart, kidneys, eyes, lungs and pancreas.

How do I get Vitamin A?

The active form of vitamin A is found in animal products including beef (especially liver), chicken, fish and dairy.

We’re big promoters of getting all of your vitamins and minerals from food instead of supplements and Vitamin A is one where that is especially true! Too much vitamin A as an isolated compound can be toxic. It’s very difficult, nearly impossible to OD on Vitamin A rich foods.

If you’re spending tons of money on Retinol-A rich skin products, try boosting your Vitamin A levels with good quality meats. If you want to support your eye health, bone health, immune system, etc… Make sure you’re getting enough animal foods into your diet!

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