Interesting Factoids About Vitamin A:
Anti-Oxidants, Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, and General Health

    • Vitamin A is important for many reasons, one of which is to prevent the bone loss of osteopenia and osteoporosis. It has a vital role in bone growth and immune system health.
    • Like vitamin C, it is necessary for the maintenance & growth of teeth, nails, bones, and hair.
    • Also like vitamin C, vitamin A has powerful anti-oxidant properties that help your immune systems fight off infections and protects us against free-radical damage from environmental and dietary toxins.
    • In fact, vitamin A is known to work synergistically with Vitamins C and E.
    • An important fact about Vitamin A – it helps us be waterproof. It helps build and maintain soft, pliable skin and mucous membranes including the mouth, stomach, and the lining of the intestinal tract.
Vitamin A is required to form Collagen Fibers – needed for strong bones
  • Vitamin A is needed to maintain the strength and integrity of the skin and mucous membranes, which is the protective barrier between us and the countless bacteria and viruses that surround us.
  • When those linings break down, it becomes easier for bacteria to enter the body and cause infection. For example, if skin and lung linings are compromised from a deficiency, infectious diseases such as measles and pneumonia may become deadly.
  • Vitamin A is essential to healthy vision, and may slow or stop the decreased retinal function in people with retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States.
  • An early sign of a deficiency is night blindness. While driving at night, looking toward oncoming headlights may be painful.
  • Blindness can result if a serious vitamin A deficiency is not corrected.
  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin.
  • Vitamin A comes from both plant and animal sources.
  • Vitamin A that comes from animal sources is fat soluble; it is known as a Pre-Formed Vitamin A. Animal sources of Vitamin A comes in the form of retinoic acid, retinal and retinol.
  • Retinoids are easily used by humans – these animal sources of vitamin A are highly bio-available and can be easily stored in our bodies. Because of this, it is possible to get and store too much of it – and vitamin A toxicity can result.
  • Some of the best sources of Pre-Formed Vitamin A are: egg yolks, liver, cheese, and fish liver oils.
  • Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables comes is sometimes called Pro Vitamin A.
  • Pro-Vitamin A is found mainly in the form of beta-carotene, one of about 50 natural ‘vitamin A precursors’ called carotenoids. (A ‘precurser’ is a compound that begins as one thing, and the body converts it into something else.)
  • When we eat plants containing carotenoids, our bodies can change these vitamin A precursers, carotenoids, into usable vitamin A.
  • A wide variety of carotenoids are found together in plant sources, and as a group of similar compounds they are called mixed carotenoids.
  • The most commonly known vitamin a precurser is called beta-carotene. Some anti-oxidant supplements include other similar carotenoid molecules such as alpha-carotene, lycopene, astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Some of the best sources of Pro Vitamin A are: yellow, orange and green vegetables and fruits, including carrots, pumpkin, mangoes, olives, sweet potatoes, spinach and water melon.
  • The best Vitamin A supplements are plant-derived vitamin A precursors with mixed carotenoids. The plant sources are safer because we cannot convert and store more than our body uses; and it is thought the ‘mix’ includes other as yet undefined health benefits beyond the animal sources.
  • Nearly 600 carotenoids have been identified; about 10 percent can be made into vitamin A in the body, the rest are apparently used by the body for other purposes. Those that cannot be converted to vitamin A have other beneficial and healthful effects. For example, lycopene has been shown to help prevent prostate cancer.
  • The body can make all the vitamin A it needs from the 10 percent of plant-derived carotenoids that can be converted.
  • The plant-based carotenoids are water-soluble and do not accumulate in the body, so toxicity is rare.
  • Vitamin A is considered an essential nutrient, which means we cannot produce it in our own body – we must get Pre-Formed (animal-derived) Vitamin A or the Pro-Vitamin A (plant-derived) through our food.

Facts About Vitamin A & Bone Density – Top of Page