Vitamin A – Why It Is Essential You Get It Into Your Body and What Are The Best Sources
A tell-tale sign for me that I am not getting enough Vitamin A in my diet is dry hands and feet and cracked heels. Now there is more going on there, but as soon as I start taking a supplement high in Vitamin A, I notice a huge difference in my skin. I am pretty much egg free so I don’t get it from yolks, but I do eat meat high in good fats such as steaks and salmon.
Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble vitamins found only in animal fats and is necessary for the assimilation of minerals in the diets.
What Foods Have Vitamin A?
Foods, such as spring butter, oily fish, fish eggs and liver are exceptionally rich in Vitamin A. Many cultures also used liver for various types of blindness, due to its high levels of Vitamin A. Weston A. Price discovered that cod liver oil was even more effective than liver in restoring visual function. At the end of the First World War, a physician, named Bloch, discovered that a diet containing whole milk, butter, eggs and cod liver oil cured night blindness. In one important experiment, Bloch compared the results when he fed one group of children whole milk and the other margarine as the only fat. Half of the margarine-fed children developed corneal problems, while the children receiving butterfat and cod liver oil remained healthy.
There are many studies showing that vitamin A, from animal fat sources, promotes health, growth and can prevent cancer. The important thing you must remember is that getting vitamin A from fruits and vegetables (carotenes) is not the same as obtaining vitamin A from animal fat (retinol). Under optimal conditions, humans can convert carotene to retinol, but it takes an awful lot of fruits and vegetables to obtain even the daily minimum requirements of vitamin A, assuming the conversion is optimal. The best sources for vitamin A again are butter, egg yolk, liver, organ meats, oily fish and shellfish.
Is Synthetic Vitamin A Just As Good For Me?
Beware of foods claiming to have high levels of vitamin A that is manufactured, as it is less effective than vitamin A from it’s retinol source (animal fat). A few manufacturers, who are very guilty of this are, Kelloggs, Cargill, Monsanto and Procter & Gamble. They have added “vitamin A” from it’s carotene source to margarine, vegetable oil, wheat flour, sugar and breakfast cereal – even MSG. Now people all over the world believe that they are getting the vitamin A their body needs from highly processed junk food. Not true!
How Much Do I Take?
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin A is 2500 IU and has set upper limits of 10,000 IUs for women. Weston A. Price recommends at least 15,000 IUs to 40,000 IUs of vitamin A a day. The anti-vitamin-A campaign began with a flawed study in 1995 from the Boston University School of Medicine. The study claimed that there was a link to high doses of vitamin A and birth defects. However, they failed to cite that most of the birth defects could also be caused by low levels of vitamin A and the study only used questionnaires to determine the levels of vitamin A mothers took and did not indicate the source of the vitamin A.
For more information on this study, visit www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/vitaminasaga.html.
Keep in mind, when breastfeeding, if your blood cholesterol is higher than what your doctor recommends, it may actually be fine. Get a second opinion from another doctor or natural path as you need the extra cholesterol in your system when breastfeeding. Remember, a high-fat diet rich in vitamin A, will result in steady even growth, a healthy physique and high immunity to illness for women, babies and even dads. For more information on the research cited in this blog, go to www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/vitamindmiracle.html.
Good Supplement Sources of Vitamin A
It is important to find a source of Vitamin A that digests well for you. You don’t want to be burping up cod liver oil all day, so if that happens to you, switch to another brand. I do well with Green pastures, Nordic Naturals and Polar Power.
Most likely, any supplement you take to get more Vitamin A will also have a great source of Vitamin D3, Omega 3’s and EPA. All essential to a strong and healthy immune system.
BEST (Available Online/Mail Order):
Green Pasture Products: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil – greenpasture.org
North American Herb and Spice PolarPower – https://www.northamericanherbandspice.com/
Dr. Ron’s Ultra-Pure: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil – drrons.com
Radiant Life: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil – 4radiantlife.com
Perfect Desiccated Liver Capsules (Contains Vitamin A, most B Vitamins and helps with menopause issues and muscle building)
GOOD (Available in Stores):
Carlson soft gel Cod Liver Oil Super 1,000 mg capsules
NOW double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
Sonne’s Cod Liver Oil
Swanson double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
Twin Labs non-emulsified liquid Cod Liver Oil
Nordic naturals Ultimate Omega
If you are a Vegetarian here are some great sources:
2-3 egg yolks a day
2-3 Tablespoons of Grass-fed butter a day
X-Factor Gold Concentrated Butter – https://www.greenpasture.org/concentrated-butter-oil-capsules/
If you are Vegan and determined to remain a Vegan here are some options for Vitamin A
Choose One of The Following Daily:
Medium Organic Sweet Potato
Half of a butternut squash
Three Medium Carrots
Bowl of Organic Spinach
Six Dried Apricots
A bowl of Organic Kale
Half of a Cantaloupe
A Bowl of Spring Greens
Nordic Naturals has a Vegan supplement called Algae DHA