Effects of vitamin A on autoimmune diseases, during pregnancy & interesting facts about vitamin A
How common is vitamin A deficiency?
Here, I want to present you with interesting facts about vitamin A and its broad benefits. First of all, I feel that it is important to cover the unpleasant topic of vitamin A deficiency.
If you look at the many functions of vitamin A, the question arises of how widespread a vitamin A deficiency is.
In fact, society measures this value far less than, for example, vitamin D. On closer inspection, some sources prove to be untrustworthy.
Today we know that a strong vitamin A deficiency creates a major health problem and can lead to blindness. This is a major issue in many developing countries, especially among children in Africa.
A marginal (mild) vitamin A deficiency does not lead to blindness but can impair important functions in the intestine, skin, immune system and fat metabolism.
Marginal vitamin A deficiency is estimated to affect approximately 40% of all people in the western world.
What are the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency?
Bad night vision
Susceptibility to infection
Bouts of dry skin
Frequent runny nose
Dry airways and dry cough
Possibly autoimmune diseases
Fat metabolism disorders/high blood lipid levels (see Metabolic Diseases -Protection with Natural & Scientifically Proven Steps)
Low testosterone levels
Dry mucous membranes
If some of these symptoms become apparent, I advise to drastically increase vitamin A consumption for a few weeks. Also, see if the symptoms improve.
If you suspect a deficiency, feel free to ask your doctor if he will do a test. That can’t hurt.
Unfortunately, only a few laboratories offer such tests. Since this vitamin is very rich in some foods, it is advisable to pay attention to the consumption of vitamin A from kale, liver, eggs and the like for a day or two. See if the symptoms improve.
Is it possible to overdose on vitamin A?
If the intake of foods rich in vitamin A and /or the supplementation with food supplements is too high, an overdose (hypervitaminosis) is possible.
For this, however, you must consume long-term high amounts of vitamin A between 50,000-100,000 I.U. daily for a long time. For comparison: the daily requirement of an adult is 3,000-5,000 I.U.
Symptoms of an overdose are yellow skin on the face, vomiting, malaise, dizziness, circulatory problems.
In practice, however, this is rarely the case.
Vitamin A in pregnancy
You have probably heard of beta-carotene from dietary supplements in pregnant women. Therefore, taking dietary supplements containing beta-carotene and retinoids is not recommended.
The normal consumption of vitamin A through a healthy diet does not pose a threat to mother and child. The vitamin is present in a natural matrix here, along with many other healthy nutrients.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t consume liver, which is very high in vitamin A, more than once a week.
Dietary supplements or better from food sources?
Healthy foods should always take precedence over nutritional supplements. In this case, food supplements are only a good option if there is a vitamin A deficiency and the consumption of foods, such as the liver, is not possible for health, ethical or other reasons.
Then I recommend one of a daily intake of 3,000-5,000 I.U. (600-1000µg) retinol/retinyl palmitate.
Covering your daily needs with a healthy diet is easily possible simply by eating beef liver, organic eggs and green vegetables on a regular basis.
In practice, however, few people consume this food regularly enough as it would be ideal and good for their health.
Vitamin A and autoimmune diseases
Research into numerous autoimmune diseases shows that in most autoimmune diseases sufferers benefit from increased consumption of vitamin A.
Medicine can address some important causes, such as a dysregulated immune system, structural damage in the intestine, mucus deficiency and inflammation with increased consumption of vitamin A (and vitamin D).
Many autoimmune sufferers have a marginal vitamin A deficiency. The practice has shown that regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin A, such as beef liver, organic eggs and green vegetables, leads to an improvement in the health and quality of the life of people with autoimmune diseases.
The following autoimmune diseases could lead to an improvement of the disease through vitamin A:
Type 1 diabetes
Good to know: Are carrots really good for the eyes?
A bit of history at this point. The English pilots were clearly superior to the German pilots in the air war of the Second World War, since they had night vision devices, among other things.
The Germans shouldn’t find out, however: When English pilots talked on the radio and asked about the night vision devices, they said “Did you eat your carrots?”
They knew that the Germans were listening to their radio messages, but they did not believe that the good night vision of the English was due to the night vision devices.
Instead, they thought that eating carrots abundantly led to better night vision – which is only partially true here.
It was only after the war ended that it emerged that the English had misled them. The debate that carrots are particularly good for the eyes (something that Hollywood likes to take up again and again) has persisted to this day.
Good to know: What is “golden rice”?
A large part of the world’s population consumes rice as an absolute staple food. In some poor countries, especially in Africa, rice is almost the only food for the poor.
Rice naturally contains extremely little amounts of Provitamin A. To help, scientists Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer had the idea to develop genetically modified rice that forms Provitamin A.
They were striving to eliminate the extensive vitamin A deficiency in some parts of the world in this way. However, bringing genetically modified plants into circulation is a very lengthy and costly matter.
Therefore, the golden rice has unfortunately not prevailed until today, although it could save tens of thousands of people from blindness and premature death every year.
Vitamin A is an umbrella term for various naturally occurring substances from the retinoid group. Active vitamin A binds to the RAR and RXR receptors and is a growth factor and regulator for many important cell types and organs in the human body.
The vitamin does play an important role in the health of the intestines and skin and in regulating immune cells.
It is a highly underestimated vitamin, which should receive more attention, especially in chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases.
Foods that contain this vitamin in abundance are offal such as beef liver, heart, organic eggs, green vegetables such as chard, spinach, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes.
Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, you should always consume it with some fat in foods; a salad doesn’t taste good without dressing, a beef liver doesn’t taste good without oil either. Intuitively, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Now that you’ve read about some interesting facts about vitamin A, its benefits and importance, it id your turn to have your say.
What is your opinion regarding this topic and how do you make sure that you reach your daily requirement? Tell us all about it in a comment below. We’ll be happy to read your stories.
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