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Unrealized: Vitamin A deficiency even Despite Supplementation in many

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Chocolove, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

    There is widespread but unrecognized vitamin A deficiency in advanced modern countries, while:
    1) an estimated half the population may be genetically unable to convert carotene to vitamin A,
    2) the richest dietary sources of true vitamin A (largely found in liver but also found in lesser amounts in full fat milk, butter, and eggs) which are often avoided by many individuals worried about weight or cholesterol, or due to taste aversion.
    3) Vitamin supplements contain carotene rather than true vitamin A to avoid toxic overload from the body's storage of this fat soluble vitamin. Check your vitamin supplement label - it usually lists vitamin A but in the fine print it defines this as carotene. However, carotene is not vitamin A.
    4) Carotene conversion by the body to vitamin A is an inefficient process at best.
    • Normal absorption of carotenoids is minimal: About 70-90% of ingested retinol is absorbed, but even under optimal circumstances, only 3% or less of carotenoids.
    Further, recent advocacy of vitamin D supplementation needs to be in a balanced ratio with vitamin A for health, however the current recommendation of increasing D, usually ignores the consequential need for increased true A.
    ..................................... When dining, the alpha wolf takes the highly prized liver. .......................................
    Vitamin A policies are perpetuating Vitamin A deficiency as a consequence of the misguided presumption that carotene automatically converts to Vitamin A, when for many, conversion is not a reality.
    Vitamin A deficiency is life threatening on many levels concerning adults as well as children. The modern presumption that Vitamin A cannot be an issue due to widespread carotene consumption, prevents recognition of the current widespread vitamin A deficiency among many, and promotes treatment failure in major disease.
    Vitamin A is crucial to survival - true Vitamin A is required by the adrenals to produce hormones such as cortisol; it is also required by the body to prevent and defend against many viruses which may include those causing cancer; it is required to maintain the integrity of mucous membranes, the defenders at our body entry points through which food, disease and bodily fluids transfer; it is further required for vision; however, body reserves are often depleted due to disease and stress.

    Common Genetic Variants and Other Host-related Factors Greatly Increase Susceptibility to Vitamin A Deficiency

    by Lara Pizzorno, MDiv, MA, LMT

    "In his presentation at the 2nd Hohenheim Nutrition Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, November 2009, Dr. Georg Lietz of England's Newcastle University, the senior investigator in research published April 2009 in the FASEB Journal (and summarized in our June 2009 LMR review, “Vitamin A – Tolerance Extends Longevity”), reported that a high percentage of women in the UK are at risk of vitamin A deficiency. Two common genetic variants greatly lessen the body’s ability to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A."

    Search your own genetic data. Genetic SNPs identified as involving carotene conversion or non-conversion, can be found by querying snpedia for carotene:

    "Genetic polymorphisms also affect the vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene. Recently, 2 common genetic polymorphisms of the BCMO1 gene were identified and were associated with a reduction in intestinal conversion of β-carotene to vitamin A of ∼32–69% in UK women . This recent finding may account for much of the observed interindividual variability in estimates of the vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene in human populations."
    Leung WC, Hessel S, Meplan C, Flint J, Oberhauser V, Tourniaire F, Hesketh JE, von Lintig J, Lietz G. Two common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding beta-carotene 15,15 '-monoxygenase alter beta-carotene metabolism in female volunteers. FASEB Journal 2009, 23(4), 1041-1053. PMID: 1910364

    Inefficiencies of human carotene conversion to vitamin A:Kohlmeier RH. . “Vitamin A,” in “Fat soluble vitamins and non-nutrients,”. Nutrient Metabolism. Elsevier: London, p. 464-478..

    The challenge to reach nutritional adequacy for vitamin A: β-carotene bioavailability and conversion—evidence in humans
    October 10, 2012
    1,2,3,4 Marjorie J Haskell
    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    rippe and Jenny TipsforME like this.
  2. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

    If Vitamin A supplements might not be useful because of the carotene issue, then (besides diet), what is a good Vitamin A supplement that would be more guaranteed to work?
    Jenny TipsforME likes this.
  3. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

    My genetic results said something about difficulty with Vitamin A but when I did the Mendus diet study I took in loads of VitA
    Probably mostly carotene though eg carrots, sweet potato.
    I hadn't made cortisol connection either. Like many of us I'm a bit low for that. Nutrition is very complicated!
  4. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    My SNPs:
    rs12934922 AA = -/-
    rs7501331 CT = +/-
    rs6564851 GT = +/-

    My Nutreval test (from 2013) :
    Vitamin A / Carotenoids - Borderline (in the yellow band) suggests 5000 iu of supplementation

    Nutreval info on vitamin A:

    Beta-carotene & other carotenoids are converted to vitamin A (retinol), involved in vision, antioxidant & immune function, gene expression & cell growth.

    Vitamin A deficiency may occur with chronic alcoholism, zinc deficiency, hypothyroidism, or oral contraceptives containing estrogen & progestin.

    Deficiency may result in night blindness, impaired immunity, healing & tissue regeneration, increased risk of infection, leukoplakia or keratosis.

    Food sources include cod liver oil, fortified cereals & milk, eggs, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, cantaloupe, mango, spinach, broccoli, kale & butternut squash.​


    My zinc was also showing borderline on this test, and I was also hypothyroid at that time.


    From what I've heard, fermented cod liver oil is a good way to raise vitamin A, as well as vitamin D. That would keep those two in balance.
    ahmo likes this.
  5. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

    I would be extremely wary of "fermented" cod liver oil. Check this out:
    And then just yesterday, a reader sent me this article: Health Effects of Rancid Fat.
    Rancid fat can destroy vitamins, which could lead to deficiency. (This would be an indirect health effect of eating rancid fat, since the thing that harms you is the deficiency, rather than the fat itself.) (Source: Pavcek PL, Shull GM. J Biol Chem 146(2):351-5, 1942.)
    If you click on the source, it says:
    In studies involving the feeding of diets containing cod liver oil and butter fat to rats, some of the animals developed typical symptoms of mild biotin deficiency, i.e. spectacle eye and spasticity of gait, after being maintained on the diet 12 to 16 weeks. It was soon evident that such a ration containing cod liver oil and butter fat was very prone to turn rancid and that this rancidity was responsible for rapid losses of vitamin A.
    So, to sum up:
    1. Dr. Kaayla’s report showed that the Green Pasture FCLO is rancid.
    2. Eating rancid fat causes vitamin deficiencies.
    3. My daughter and I took FCLO for 4-5 years, while eating a WAPF diet.
    4. We were both deficient in vitamin D, which resulted in bone loss (cavities and scoliosis).
    5. I may have also been deficient in vitamin A, which may have caused problems with my eyesight (could also be vitamin B deficiency according to the paper referenced above).
  6. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Sounds like if you wanted to go that route, you would need to be careful of the source to make sure it's not rancid.

    Otherwise, it's looking like good old liver is the best.
  7. South

    South Senior Member

    Southeastern United States
    @Chocolove @Bansaw
    (forgive me, I can't remember which of you asked this question so I tagged you both)

    Real vitamin A is available in supplements if you read the backs of the labels to pick the right type

    For example, here's one: If you scroll down on that page to the "Supplement Facts" box, it states "Vitamin A from fish liver oil". that's the real kind, not beta carotene.

    There are many other brands that are real vitamin A, I'm not plugging this one; A read of backs of labels will show what each one is.

    For what it's worth, sealed gelcaps like this don't let air in, and I've bitten open many brands of vitamin A gelcaps over the years for easier swallowing, none of them tasted rancid (I'm very sensitive to rancide flavors and probably would have noticed)
  8. rippe


    fermented cod liver oil worked extremly well for me. I do not worry much about the rancid fats in there. since I eat a lot of raw animal fats I assume my body is not that desperate in need of fats so it just ignores the rancid fats and the transfats in foods. there were other times long ago when I was barely eating butter and cooking in a pan with lots of canola oil. then of course my body was in desperate need for fats so he mistook those transfats and rancid fats and assimilated it and tried to replace its membranes with it. which makes it stiff and less permeable and inflammation. but when you eat lots of good raw animal fats I wouldn't be too much concerned with that tine amount of rancid fats in cod liver oil.
    it is very very important to take zinc along with retinol / CLO, because it really sucks it up in the body. iron and copper are important too. I would recommend to eat liver regularly because it has an well balanced and bioavailable amount of zinc plus iron plus copper, which will be used up during the retinol supplementation.
    I think it is very important too tell everybody who is taking vitamin D about the retinol connection, and that D lowers A. Morley Robins does a good job in informing people about that matter. But on the other hand there are people like Mercola who are advocating lots of vitamin D without even looking into the needs of retinol. the information has to be spread and I'm so glad somebody started this topic.

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