There are two primary sources of 𝐕𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐀.
𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞, or 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘯 𝘈:
𝐀𝐧𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞, or 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘝𝘪𝘵 𝘈:
Examples of low concentration of Vit A (𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 % 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘦).
Though most get their Vit A from plant sources, in reality, its absorption is not great.
To make the matter a bit more complicated, 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘤, 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (conditions like abetalipoproteinemia) affect carotenoid absorption.
𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐢𝐝𝐬 are 𝘱𝘪𝘨𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴.
You can take supplements, if you can't eat any of the above.
As we spoke before, 𝐕𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐀 is 𝘧𝘢𝘵-𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦.
We don’t eat Vit A, even in supplements.
When we consume fruits, vegetables or supplements, in reality, we are taking something called “𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘺𝘭 𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴” (also known as preformed Vit A) or 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘯 𝘈.
One way or another, they suffer alterations to become 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘴. This is simply because those are easier absorbed in the small bowel.
Those tissues are mainly:
Another group of molecules called 𝐋𝐃𝐋 (𝘓𝘰𝘸-𝘋𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘱𝘰𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘴) might also do that transport.
𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰:
Bear in mind any disease affecting the bowels (and I am referring to the 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘭) will affect fat absorption capacity. In turn, this will affect Vitamin A absorption as well.
Remember we spoke about Vit A being fat soluble?
Conditions that affect Vit A absorption:
People with any of these conditions should take 𝐕𝐢𝐭 𝐀 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬.
When Vit A is not absorbed, it will be excreted in stools.
The one that becomes inactivated in the bloodstream will be excreted in the urine.
The big problem is that our body absorbs Vit A better than it destroys it.
This can lead to excessive accumulation and 𝐕𝐢𝐭 𝐀 𝐭𝐨𝐱𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲.
Also known as Retinol or Retinoic Acid.
It was the first 𝘧𝘢𝘵-𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 but not the first Vitamin to be discovered.
It all started with the 𝘌𝘨𝘺𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘴, as they found that some types of 𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 could be cured by 𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳.
This Vitamin plays a vital role in 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩, 𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 and 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 (mainly 𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴, 𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵 and 𝘨𝘶𝘵), 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 and 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺.
We cannot forget how important it is for foetal development.
But beware, pregnant women DO NOT need a Vitamin A dose higher than the daily recommended dose.
Due to this, many believe it is 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐕𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 in animal life (not just humans).
When there is a deficiency, it can lead to:
𝐍𝐨𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧:
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨?
Use it after sun and/or at nighttime.
Is there a connection between Vitamin A and allergies?
Too much Vitamin A can also lead to problems. Such as:
Dr Costa is a Consultant Paediatrician and fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.