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.
❎As they are absorbed, small molecules called “𝐜𝐡𝐲𝐥𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐬” will transport them into the Liver.
❎If the Liver has reached its full capacity of Vitamin A, other small molecules called 𝐕𝐋𝐃𝐋 (𝘝𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘓𝘰𝘸-𝘋𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘱𝘰𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘴) will transport it (often already changed into retinyl palmitate) to other tissues.
✴Those tissues are mainly:
1️⃣Adipose tissue (AKA fat)
❎Another group of molecules called 𝐋𝐃𝐋 (𝘓𝘰𝘸-𝘋𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘱𝘰𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘴) might also do that transport.
‼️𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰:
▶️VLDL and LDL are what is called “bad cholesterol”
▶️HDL is what is called “good cholesterol”
✴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:
➡️Inflammatory Bowel Disease
➡️Cholestasis (conditions preventing bile passing to the bowel, from the Liver)
➡️Small bowel bypass surgery
➡️Significant parasitic infestation
➡️Low fat in the diet
⚠️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.
Dr Costa is a Consultant Paediatrician and fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.