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Vitamin A and its Interactions (Split From Vitamin D Sensitivity Thread)

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Gondwanaland, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Split from Vitamin D Sensitivity Thread

    aaron_c said:
    Thanks, @aaron_c ,very timely. I am going to take vit A tonight for a stubborn cough + canker sore. Tomorrow morning I willl take my multimin w/ copper then. I think this explains why the last time I took vit A I had increased hair loss (low copper) ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2015
  2. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Another interesting chart is on page 8, which shows varying levels of retinol in the blood following different levels of Vitamin A, Zn and Cu supplementation. Although I cannot post the chart here, I will say that nearly all the levels are between 1.5 to 2 micromols per liter--and this with more than a a one hundred-fold difference between the amounts of Vitamin A supplemented. The highest value (and only outlier at nearly 3 micromols per liter) is found with low levels of Vitamin A, Zn and Cu. This suggests to me that serum retinol is not a good indicator for Vitamin A status.

    Also of interest: Vitamin A (in moderate doses) appears to increase serum cholesterol (they do not differentiate between HDL or LDL). Cu and Zn also appear to increase cholesterol when vitamin A is not supplemented excessively.

    Cod Liver Oil Update: Although I am currently using Blue Ice brand fermented cod liver oil, this web site has some interesting things to say about fermented cod liver oil vs extra virgin cod liver oil (only available from one company that they know of, but with prices comparable to Blue Ice). They claim that some batches of fermented cod liver oil can irritate the digestive tract of sensitive individuals. The next time I order, I plan to go extra virgin.

    @Gondwanaland: I think the question of whether to add copper with vitamin a would mostly depend on whether one thinks one has excessive or deficient copper stored in tissue. If you think you have a lot stored, then vitamin A would probably increase your global copper load (as well as excretion...I think.) If you don't have much stored, then the extra ceruloplasmin might suck up the copper(?) making you tired and causing you to lose your hair. Although I am far from sure about this last bit, it is supported by the fact that ceruloplasmin is unstable without copper, degrading in about 5 hours instead of 5.5 days according to Wikipedia. So theoretically, the high ceruloplasmin seen in the rats with high Vitamin A intake most likely indicated a high amount of copper in the blood. Put another way, if the ceruloplasmin had been exceedingly effective at transporting limited copper from the liver to the tissue (instead of holding on to a good portion of it), perhaps we would have expected to see lower ceruloplasmin than we did.

    Increased ceruloplasmin should aslo increase iron transport, since ceruloplasmin oxidizes iron from the ferrous state to the ferric state, assisting it's transport by transferrin. I am not sure what the fallout from this would be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  3. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    @aaron_c vit A did make me feel sleepy when I was taking it several months ago, so I am taking it right before bed time. My serum iron and ferritin are at the top of the range; copper, when tested always seemed lowish both in RBC and hair; zinc also always closer to the bottom range.

    I am finding a little difficult to convert theory into practice, let's see how I feel tomorrow morning. The plan is to take the multimin, then later perhaps a drop of D+K2 (500+100mcg).
     
  4. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Sounds great, @Gondwanaland. Theory only takes us so far, then we have to experiment.

    When you said that serum iron and ferritin were elevated, what did you mean by iron? Total iron? I ask because I found this study that basically says that inflammation will decrease transferrin and iron absorption in the gut but increase ferritin, so in chronic inflammatory states ferritin will no longer be indicative of the body's iron stores. Also, I notice it mentions high ferritin as part of the "anemia of chronic inflammation."

    Serum ferritin and systemic iron handling are affected by inflammatory pathways involving the up-regulation of hepcidin. Ferroportin is a cellular membrane protein that allows the egress of iron from enterocytes into the circulation. It is present as well on cells of the reticuloendothelial system, particularly macrophages. Hepcidin binds to and inactivates ferroportin, causing its internalization and degradation within the cell, the net effect of which is to decrease iron absorption from the gut and to limit the amount of iron made available to the circulation, sequestering iron within the reticuloendothelial system.[13] Hepcidin production within the liver is stimulated by proinflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-6,[14] and it is this constellation of findings (decreased serum iron, increased ferritin, and increased hepcidin levels) that is seen in anemia of chronic inflammation. It is likely that this mechanism at least partially underlies the hyperferritinemia seen in patients with chronic infections, chronic kidney disease, autoimmune disease, and malignancies.​

    Best of luck with the Vitamin A tonight.
     
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  5. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @Gondwanaland

    We may have the copper-hair loss thing backwards. According to Dr. Wilson, "loss of hair is a common symptom of copper toxicity." He goes on to say that when the woman in question stopped taking her prenatal vitamin with lots of copper her hair growth returned. If the hair loss is due to a change in copper metabolism resulting from the Vitamin A, this would seem to suggest that it is due to too much copper. This is also supported by the use of zinc creams and shampoos for hair loss.

    At the moment I don't know enough about copper transport to have a clear picture of what might be going on. Judging by one paper I read about copper and hair loss from 2013, I am not sure anyone knows. But stringing together the limited information we have, my guess would be that the increased ceruloplasmin might be dumping a rather higher proportion of its copper in the hair/scalp than other tissues in the body.

    To avoid hair loss resulting from Vitamin A, you might want to try a shampoo or cream with zinc in it. If you can get zinc sulfate, you can probably add it to whatever shampoo you use...the question would be how long you would need soak. But this would help you avoid whatever toxic additives are in most shampoos.

    Of course, if the zinc creams for hair loss are addressing something else and/or if Dr. Wilson is wrong, then I could also imagine copper deficiency causing the hair loss, as you suggest. But for now, my money is on copper toxicity being the culprit.
     
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  6. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I disagree for my case in particular. I get worsening of symptoms whenever I take anything that antagonizes/uses up copper.
     
  7. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    What I've heard is that you can be both copper toxic AND deficient at the same time by having too much of the wrong kind of copper circulating. This situation is bad for hair and skin.

    Supposedly copper sebacate is a good form for overcoming a "toxic deficiency".

    @aaron_c, what's that form you're taking again? I can't seem to find it and am having a bit of trouble focusing right at the moment.
     
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  8. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Definetly. I do not tolerate more than 600mcg daily and must take it with zinc.
     
  9. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    I hope you are right, however: My thinking above revolves around the possibility of copper transport differing based on tissue type. As @whodathunkit pointed out, Dr. Wilson appears to have some ideas about this under the heading "biounavailable copper." I realize that we are the proverbial blind men (and women) feeling an elephant here so I applaud you for having the courage to test your theory!

    @whodathunkit: I take a MitoSynergy brand product called Mito Activator. It is their most stripped down product. I take it for the cunemuspir, which is copper chelated to niacin. Supposedly it bypasses some of the transport and/or storage issues that other forms of copper encounter--and in my limited experience, I would say that this seems to be true. It isn't cheap, though... When I took "regular" (that is, amino acid-chelated) copper, I did find that taking vitamin c helped with the oxidative "burn."
     
  10. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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  11. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Ya, like I said, I may be putting too much money on Dr. Wilson. But why is it so hard to find anything but rumors about copper deficiency causing hair loss? (Mostly rhetorical)

    Here is a website by a woman with some experience treating copper-related hair loss. The first interesting (and yet fairly unhelpful) thing she says is that both too much and too little copper cause hair loss. The second interesting thing she says is that women lose their hair in clumps. Although it isn't really enough to go on (welcome to our world!) we might contrast this with iron-related hair loss that causes hair to come out uniformly, mostly while one brushes. When your hair fell out before from Vitamin A was it in clumps or pretty evenly spread out?

    Here is how one (although probably not you, given your ferritin levels) might have iron-related hair loss from Vitamin A:

    Vitamin A supplementation would be expected to increase transferrin saturation (More ceruloplasmin would increase the iron available to bind to transferrin) but decrease serum ferritin. Here is a website that claims that "Hair loss due to low ferritin is one of the most common types of hair loss we see in women."
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  12. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Back to Vitamin A...

    From the Weston A Price Foundation:

    Under optimal conditions, humans can indeed convert carotenes to vitamin A. This occurs in the upper intestinal tract by the action of bile salts and fat-splitting enzymes.
    So beta-carotene conversion relies on the actions of bile salts--something that some (many?) of us with ME/CFS do not have enough of.

    To be a little more complete, I will note that the article then goes on to list a whole bunch of things that inhibit conversion of beta-carrotine to Vitamin A, including being an infant, a diabetic, hypothyroid, eating (rancid?) polyunsaturated fats or simply experiencing cold weather.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  13. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Always uniformly while brushing. When I first went to a dermatologist 20+ yrs ago, he asked for an iron panel and transferrin was low. Then he prescribed some iron supp and soon the hair loss improved like by 70%, but it didn't last. Then I went back to the dr and from there on all I got were prescriptions for mulivitamins, minoxidil and expensive cosmetics.

    When I first went gluten free in 2013, the nutritionist I was seeing put me on a high dairy diet and I haven't lost a single hair for one week. At the beginning of the 2nd week I ate a sardine omelett for dinner and in the next mornning the hairfall was back worse than ever. At the time I didn't connect it with that dreaded dinner, then afterwards I thought it was due to the egg whites from the omelett, but now I think the canned sardines were the culprits (the highest oxalate meat in the hi-ox lists).

    Then I started reading about autoimmunity and nutrition and how people with AI condititions shouldn't eat dairy. So I stopped eating dairy. And, to come back to the topic, how autoimmune patients should supplement vitamin D. So 6 months after going gluten free my health was in its worse shape it had ever been. I was depressed, vitamin B12 deficient, full of pain, EMF sensitive, couldn't sleep, but vit D was higher heh :meh:

    Then I spent the whole year of 2014 trying to eat "healthier" and of course increased vegetable intake under the guidance of another nutritionist. Hit bottom once more.

    Now I am trying to adddress my nutritional deficiencies under the guidance of an integrative doctor who just made me anemic by prescribing me zinc without copper. I would be better off alone, but I need a prescription by a health practiotioner so I can order supplements from the compounding pharmacy (can't find all supps OTC here). It is financially impossible to import all the supps I need due to import taxes and 2-3 month long transit times.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  14. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Seattle
    Personally, I wouldn't put to much emphasis on any particular group or 'guru's advice. Have done that in the past and been burned in more ways than one -- and actually by both the Weston Price folks (who seem to think that fermented cod liver oil and that butter oil is the answer for everything) and Larry Wilson, who bases his hair-ratio claims on the mainly on the work of Paul Eck.

    For example, beta-carotene needs zinc to be converted to retinol, and retinol needs zinc and NAD to be converted to retinal (which is the form used by the eyes). One can eat all the carrots one wants, but without sufficient zinc and NAD (and probably other compounds and enzymes as well), it won't do your eyes a bit of good.

    Regarding the bound and unbound copper thing, I believe he's referring to ceruloplasmin. If one doesn't have decent levels of that copper-carrying protein, then problems may ensue. "May" being the operative word.

    Okay, I'll shut up. :)
     
  15. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Thanks @dannybex,

    I had actually quoted them to imply that here are even more issues with turning beta-carrotine into retinol...but I see how the quote could be read the other way too. As you may know, earlier in the Vitamin D Sensitivity thread I quoted an article that said that we convert 3% of beta-carrotine on average. So I'm not pro-beta-carrotine, and neither (for what it is worth) is the Weston A Price Foundation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
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  16. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    The fact that the improvement from the iron did not last could be because your body could not continue processing the iron, which could be because you had/have a vitamin B2 deficiency.

    I don't want to take this thread in another direction, but have you read to thread on B2:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/hair-mineral-testing.15099/
     
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  17. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Exactly! I haven't tolerated B2 in the past year (plus it made hair loss worse - low copper?), will make another try this year :cautious:
     
  18. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Update:

    Today I feel like I am coming down with something. I also have the beginnings of a migraine--as in, if I don't fix something, it might get a bit worse over the next few days until it actually is a migraine. But for now it is just pain in my jaw and behind and around my eyes.

    The slow buildup to migraine happened before when I took vitamin D without vitamins A or K. In the past taking more magnesium and taking more vitamin K (MK-4) has helped.

    I have also been experiencing an increased need for potassium since beginning the cod liver oil. I have gone from not appearing to need any extra potassium to needing as much as 600 mg of potassium per day.

    I am not totally sure what is causing all of this. On one hand, it could be that the vitamin D is increasing [EDIT: calcium, not potassium] and I simply have not taken enough vitamin K to counteract this. On the other hand, according to ARL too much iron has been associated with migraines, and as discussed above a potential increase in ceruloplasmin could have kicked iron out of my liver and into circulation--if this is true, this particular reaction is probably a family trait, as my father has too much iron in his liver for no reason regular MD's can discern, and he gets migraines from time to time.

    Dr. Wilson claims that copper has an antagonistic relationship with zinc and [EDIT: potassium, not copper]...and I am too out of it to find a better and/or corroborating source at the moment. Nonetheless, this might explain why I need more potassium.

    In any case, I will back off on the fish liver oil for now and see if that helps...I will still take it, but less than the one teaspoon a day I had been taking. My hope is that this is mainly from the mobilization of ceruloplasmin and thus iron, and that my body now has the opportunity to redistribute and/or excrete these minerals as it would like.

    Slow and steady wins this race (fingers crossed).

    EDIT: Wow, I am obviously kind of out of it, and the word substitutions prove it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  19. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    Remember that Christine said to start really low and go really slow to avoid adverse effects.
     
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  20. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I started at 5mg and had bad sides. Then lowered to 3mg and had bad sides. Then upped to 8mg and had bad sides. :ill:

    I think I had no bioavailable copper back then. I am going to retry it soon with copper on board.:cautious:
     

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