Vitamin Breakdown Series (Part 1: Vitamin A)

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What do Vitamin A, retinol, and beta-carotene all have in common? They are all the same thing! I don’t know if you have ever had this feeling I am about to explain. It’s a feeling of receiving too much noise and clutter over the newest health claim. Specifically, I am talking about receiving constant bombardments of ads, commercials, and statements daily regarding why you should have more of a particular vitamin, mineral, or antioxidant, in your body.

Personally, it can get overwhelming. I have to admit that it can make you feel like you’re not doing anything right in regards to your diet and what you’re eating. This is why I am creating this vitamin breakdown series where weekly I will summarize all that you need to know about a particular vitamin.  My intention is to provide you with helpful information that can help you determine what vitamins, minerals, or other necessary supplements are lacking in your current diet.  This isn’t meant to be negative rant towards any particular group, community, or entity but rather as another way of delivering basic information without having an interest on what you decide to eat or not eat. So let’s get to it.

Background History:

This vitamin got its name after Elmer McCollum performed studies to determine why someGut-bacteria-to-battle-vitamin-A-deficiency-Could-probiotics-be-modified-to-produce-beta-carotene_strict_xxl essential nutrients were missing in mice and he referred to these as components as factors A and B. This would later be result in the naming this compound as vitamin A. The reason it picked up the named retinol is because of its huge impact it has on our ability to see.

Basics that are not so basic:

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which literally means it gets stored as fat throughout your tissues in your body. This a good thing because our bodies can store vitamin A for a rainy day. This storage occurs primarily in our liver but vitamin A actually gets processed in our small intestine. We should care about this vitamin because it helps with our eyesight as previously mentioned, growing healthy tissue, and keeping a healthy skin among other reasons. The bad news when it comes to vitamin A is that there is such a thing of having too much vitamin A. Having excess vitamin A can lead to hair loss, upset stomachs, and headaches among other more serious side effects down the road.

Food sources for Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is abundantly found in many fruits and vegetables. Some vegetables with high sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and spinach. Fruits with high vitamin A content include apricots, cantaloupes, mangoes, cherries, and watermelon. This gives you the perfect reason to get your vitamin A through different fruits and vegetables.  Eggs and in milk products also are good sources of vitamin A.

Hopefully you learned something about vitamin A that you might have not known already. After reading this do you think you are getting enough vitamin A? Feel free to comment below, share with your friends and family, or follow me on twitter. 

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