Here's some more important information about how you can protect your health. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey studies - ''The CDC has known for at least two decades that Americans are deficient in the following key immunological nutrients: Vitamin A (35-45% of the population is deficient) Vitamin C (37-46%), Vitamin D (65-95%), Vitamin E (60-84%), and Zinc (11-15%'' This newsletter we are focusing on vitamin A. Many nutritional supplements use the beta-carotene as vitamin A. But as you can see from images below, proformed beta-carotene and preformed vitamin A are very different on a molecular level.
Proformed vitamin A, also known as Beta carotene has the chemical formula – C40H56 . It was discovered in 1907.
Preformed vitamin A, also called Retinol, has the chemical formular -C20H30O. It is found in animal products.
Nutrition companies put two beta-carotenes together and call it vitamin A. But your cells know the difference. Preformed vitamin A is not a combined beta-carotene. Preformed vitamin A is key to your immune system, health and fertility. Preformed Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form of the vitamin, which means your body can use it as is. If you have chronic health problems your body may not have the metabolic machinery to convert the proformed beta-carotene version of vitamin A into the active preformed vitamin A. It would be best you to take the active preformed vitamin A. Vegans beware! Preformed vitamin A only comes from animal sources. It’s found in animal products including meat, organ meats, chicken, fish, fish oils and dairy and includes the compounds retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. Cod liver oil supplements contain vitamin A and D. I personally take one big soft gel capsule every day of Cod liver oil. You can search on Fullscript for multi vitamins and preformed vitamin A and Cod liver oil that suits your needs. Click here to create or open your Fullscript account. The most common type of provitamin is beta-carotene, found in plant-based foods such as carrots, leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomato products and fruits. Beta-carotene is an excellent antioxidant protecting us against disease and should not be neglected. But it is not the same as preformed vitamin A. Mild vitamin A deficiency may cause fatigue, susceptibility to infections, and infertility. Conditions that interfere with normal digestion can lead to vitamin A malabsorption such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, cirrhosis, alcoholism, and cystic fibrosis. Next time we will delve more deeply into the rest of the nutrients that the CDC has known for decades that we in North America are deficient in; Vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. And as you may remember Vitamin D which we already discussed last months newsletter. Here's to your health, Dr. Linda
Fun Fact: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ― Henry David Thoreau