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Vitamins, Minerals & Omega-3s ... Vitamin A (retinol)

Friday, April 16, 2021

I'm back at it.

Experienced a bit of an energetic setback yesterday. A number of contributing factors come to mind. Glad I recognized the challenge and took a step back yesterday to support the body's need to conserve energy.

Here are the links to the series of blogs addressing what I've learned regarding my potential nutrient challenges:

Vitamins, Minerals & Omega-3s

Back to the Vitamins, Minerals & Omega-3s ... Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Vitamins, Minerals & Omega-3s ... Choline

The Pure Genomics report describes vitamin A (retinol) as a nutrient that maintains healthy vision, growth, cell growth, reproduction, and immune system function.

Implications: Beta-carotene is a nutrient found in certain foods that is converted to vitamin A inside the body. Your body may not convert beta-carotene to vitamin A as easily, and may need foods or supplements containing vitamin A.

Diet & Lifestyle Recommendations: Eat more foods with vitamin A, such as organ meats (liver, kidney, etc.), eggs, cod liver oil, and dairy products. If these foods are not part of your regular diet, your health care provider may recommend a supplement.

I find it interesting that so many of these potential nutrient challenges for me are associated with a need for more animal products. As I've said in previous blogs, vegetarian and vegan diets do not support my health and well-being. i do eat 5 - 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. But, I also need the meat.

Once I became aware of the Cu (copper) deficiency I made a concerted effort to get liver into our meal rotation. I've been supplementing Cu for nearly a year now and even with the supplementation, keeping those levels out of the basement has remained a challenge and we do not know why.

So, I see that not only will the liver help support Cu levels, it will also support nutrient levels for vitamin A (retinol),

Dear Dad had glaucoma. I have been considered a 'glaucoma suspect' since my early 20s. I am now in my 60s and have not developed glaucoma. In fact, the ophthalmologist exclaimed following my most recent field of vision test: You have excellent peripheral vision!

I'm so glad that I did not follow the recommendations of a previous ophthalmologist to begin medicating me 'early' for glaucoma to see if it would prevent me from developing glaucoma. I was already well aware that the glaucoma medications had been accompanied by side effects for Dear Dad and essentially let the doc know that I was not interested in participating in that 'experiment' (my words ... not his ... he did not refer to medicating me as an experiment ... he seemed to view it as extending a benefit to me).

Following that recommendation years ago, I consulted the clinical nutritionist and asked if there were any suggestions she could share to shore up my vision and, perhaps, avert a glaucoma diagnosis.

I do not remember all of the particulars; but, I do remember one particular nutrient getting added to my regimen that just so happens to be a carotene; but, it is a carotenoid with no vitamin A activity. So, how does it relate to vitamin A (retinol)? I'm not sure.

But, I do wonder if the astaxanthin was able to step up and support vitamin A's capacity to maintain healthy vision.

Here are a number of links related to astaxanthin in particular:

Astaxanthin Helps Protect Eyesight

Astaxanthin a Premium Cell Defense Nutrient


Astaxanthin, canthaxanthin and beta-carotene differently affect UVA-induced oxidative damage and expression of oxidative stress-responsive enzymes

And, anyone that has dealt with severe acne (I have!) or other skin related challenges is likely aware of vitamin A (retinol). Retinol creams anyone?

It was, in fact, acne treatment that precipitated a number of the medication associated anaphylaxis reactions and other severe allergic reactions in my 20s.

Now, I have to wonder if any of this was related to my vitamin A (retinol) status.

Here are the opening paragraphs to an article linked below:

Everyone knows that carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A, right?

Well… it turns out it isn’t that straightforward for everyone. The conversion of beta-carotene, found in orange fruits and vegetables, results in a form of vitamin A (retinol) that our bodies can use.

Genetics plays a huge role in how well you convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. This article covers the research on the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A and how genetic variants decrease the conversion process for some people.

How Well Do You Convert Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A?


This is another nutrient sitting in the 'on deck' circle to be addressed at a later date ...

It's amazing how inter-linked all of this stuff is!

When exploring the choline 'rabbit hole' I see that there are connections to its status and nightshade sensitivtiy. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

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