The Truth About: Vitamin A

You continue to hear that you need to ‘get your vitamins’, but how much do you really know about vitamins?

Which ones do you need?  How much do you need?  How can you tell if you aren’t getting enough of one or another…etc.

In my next blog series we are going to explore one vitamin at a time & help to clarify some of these questions.

So – let’s begin at the beginning – with Vitamin A.

Vitamin A

The Benefits…

  • Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene is necessary for creating smooth & hydrated skin.


  • Together with white blood cells, vitamin A can help allocate mandates within the immune system – thus boosting its function & protecting against infection.


  • Vitamin A necessary for bone development & helps to improve bone health.


  • It helps convert into retinal which helps us to see in the dark.


  • It helps form retinoic acid, a compound which helps cells to multiply & perform specialised tasks in your body.


  • Vitamin A is necessary for the normal function of the respiratory tract & the lining of the lungs.



Too Little…

Too little Vitamin A is often associated with the following symptoms:

  • Inability to absorb Vitamin D (low D3 status)
  • Night blindness
  • Dry skin, eyes & hair
  • Skin thickening
  • Lesions
  • Repeat infections
  • Anemia
  • Ulcers & damage to the cornea




Too Much….

Remember that too much of a good thing – is a bad thing.  If you are in-taking more than 25,000 IUs of vitamin A per day for a long period of time you could be at risk.

Excessive amounts of vitamin A can cause a variety of symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Dry lips
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Low sperm count

For pregnant women – an excess of vitamin A could induce birth defects in the first trimester.



The Optimal Amount…

If your you have had blood tests & they revealed that you are lacking in Vitamin A – it is recommended that you take 50,000 to 75,000 IU each day for one full month to help rebuild stores.

After that, & if you are just looking to maintain your intake – it is recommended to intake 25,000 IU per day.

NOTE:  If you are pregnant – you should not exceed 10,000 IU of vitamin A daily.



The Sources…

Below are a variety of foods that are packed full of Vitamin A.  If you feel you are lacking – go stock up on these right away!

  • Carrot Juice – One of the richest sources of Vitamin A. It is also a great source of minerals including: calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, sodium, sulphur, iron, phosphorus, & more!


  • Dark Leafy Vegetables – A great source of Vitamin A
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Kale


  • Fish


  • Brightly Coloured Vegetables
    • Tomatoes
    • Red Peppers
    • Yellow Squash


  • Eggs


  • Cheese


  • Avocado



  • Liver


  • Orange Fruits & Vegetables
    • Pumpkins
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Whole Carrots
    • Cantaloupe
    • Apricots
    • Peaches
    • Papayas
    • Mangos


The Bottom Line…

If you are concerned about your current vitamin A levels – it is important that you check with your doctor.  Depending on any symptoms you may have your doctor may suggest a change in your diet, add a supplement or test your levels to be certain you are getting the optimal amount.

Also, watch out for upcoming blogs that will delve into additional vitamins.  You may just be a Vitamin guru with optimal vitamin health by the time we’re done!


To Your Best Health,

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant




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