Welcome to this article on vitamin A and D nature made dietary supplements controversy. Which explores and provides further insight given the controversy and confusion surrounding these two vitamins. This is probably due to the resurgence of COVID 19 where the advice is plenty of vitamin A & D. There has been an unfortunate related death reported recently on social media. It states it is a result of taking vitamin A. Without any information regarding autopsy findings or doctors underlying health state of the entity involved. That does not mean under the given right conditions. It can’t kill you which we shall explore further into this article. It is important such controversy, anxiety and worry require to be shared. In a general jargon-free easy to read form if only to relieve some peoples minds.
What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin available in tiny amounts in some foods and supplementary supplements. The National Institute of Health and US Department of Health and Human Services. Informs us it is required for good health and maintaining strong bones. It is also responsible for regulating the metabolism of phosphorous and calcium which are the building blocks of good bones.
Basically, when sunlight is absorbed by our bodies we produce vitamin D. Unfortunately the hours and availability in Northern Hemisphere countries are not normally sufficient. For me, during the winter months, vitamin D in tablet form is my fall back position. In the summer only a limited time of midday sun is sufficient several times a week. Between 10 – 30 minutes dependent on your skin sensitivity to sunlight.
Even in Tropical countries people are no longer getting the exposure to sunlight required through working outside. With enjoyable sunlight activities outdoors being nullified by the need to work indoors. This does not allow for natural vitamin D production, changed sedentary lifestyles and changes in diet. In addition a troubling increasing preference for fast foods.
Vitamin D a complex nutrient
Vitamin D is a very complex nutrient with two types converting into serum by the kidney and liver. Scientists and doctors are in discussions regarding how to measure these serums. Further complicated by the fact levels are not evident until deficiency occurs. This is beyond the scope of this article. Further exploration by those who seek a more in-depth medical explanation can be found on the internet. Vitamin D also has other roles including neuromuscular and immune function, modulation of cell growth and reduction of inflammation.
The foods that vitamin D is found in small amounts are:
The flesh of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and fish liver oils.
Beef liver, egg yolks and cheese contain very tiny amounts.
Mushrooms provide vitamin D too in variable amounts including those grown under ultraviolet light.
Fortified programs both voluntary in the US and by Law in Canada. Remain the main source of vitamin D from milk to both adults and infants. Note that other dairy products made from milk such as cheese and ice cream are not fortified.
However, breakfast cereals, some brands of orange juice margarine, yoghurt and some others are. Including plant milk alternatives (such as beverages made from almond, soy or oats) in amounts equal to cows milk. Fortification programs for vitamin D through adding it to milk were mandated to deal with a bad outbreak of rickets. Which was then a major health problem.
Can I take Vitamin D daily
The current advice recommends 400-800 IU (10-20 mcg) per day. However, it is safe when required to up that figure to
1,000–4,000 IU (25–100 mcg) daily. Going beyond these limits is not advisable as there are no known benefits.
Older people, those of darker skins and recently undergone obesity surgery. Require to take extra precautions concerning deficiency in vitamin D. They are prone to undergo as a result of their age group and medical conditions. Not getting enough vitamin D.
In all cases and for both the intake of vitamin A & D specifically or any other vitamin or supplement you are urged to consult with your doctor, dietician or pharmacist about the medications you are being prescribed as they may cause very bad reactions which can lead to varying outcomes including death. Your doctor who prescribes your medication. Is in the best position to assess your supplementary needs. Most doctors operate clinics with dieticians and partnering pharmacies in today’s world.
What is Vitamin A
Vitamin A is also a fat-soluble vitamin which supplements the naturally occurring nutrients found in many foods. It is important for the immune system; normal vision and reproduction. It also helps the kidneys, lungs, heart and other organs work properly.
There are two types of vitamin A preformed vitamin A found in dairy products, fish and poultry. The second is provitamin A found in vegetables, fruits and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin vitamin A as found in your food and supplements is beta – carotene.
Vitamin A is in dietary supplements. Usually in the form retinal palmitate or acetate (preformed vitamin A), beta carotene (Provitamin A) or a combination of both. Most multivitamin-mineral supplements contain vitamin A. Some supplements contain only vitamin A.
Vitamin A can be found in foods naturally and is also added in others.
Some types of fish for example Salmon.
Beef, liver and other organ meat (these are normally high in cholesterol keep that in mind and limit intake)
Green, orange and yellow vegetables such as broccoli, squash and carrots. Leafy vegetable too such as spinach.
Dairy products especially milk which has vitamin A added.
Fruits including mangoes, apricots and cantaloupe.
Fortified breakfast cereals.
Can I take Vitamin A daily
Vitamin A is safe to take for most people in amounts of less than 10’000 units (3,000mcg) daily. As a micronutrient, it is very useful for promoting, developing and protecting epithelium and mucus integrity. Known as an anti-inflammation vitamin playing a critical role in enhancing immune function.
Scientists are studying its effects on health concerning cancer, measles and age-related macular degeneration. It can be harmful in high intakes with some forms of preformed vitamin A. Taking in high dosage amounts from supplements and some medications can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, coma and even death. Hence pregnant women must not ingest high doses. It is possible to cause birth defects.
Consuming high doses of beta carotene and other forms of provitamin A turns the skin yellow-orange. Only this condition is harmless. Neither does it cause birth defects or the other more serious effects mentioned previously for the preformed vitamin A. Levels of intake normally depend on age and sex. They do not apply to those under a doctors supervision of intake levels. Upper limits for forms of provitamin A and beta carotene have not been established.
People in the US and the developed world in general through long-held fortified programs do not have Vitamin A deficiencies except for at-risk groups who have cystic fibrosis as a condition for example. It is, however, a big problem in poorer countries in Africa, South America South East Asia including China in varying degrees. Therefore a large area and a large population is affected
In the conclusion of this article on ‘Vitamin A and D Nature Made – Dietary Supplements Controversy’, we have explored the natural and made sides to obtaining these essential A & D vitamins. The fact there is controversy. Is as a result that both of these are anti-inflammatory and aid the immune system. With the resurgence of The COVID 19 virus, the advice will be focusing on nutrients.
Which will provide the needs for these two requirements. Hopefully, enough light has been shed on them for a better understanding. It is also important to remember it is not down to just these two vitamins alone. Our bodies achieve optimum levels through a combination of vitamin supplements.
These vitamin supplements compensate for nutrient deficiencies. It is also vital that the vitamins are from a genuine, trusted source that complies with all the requirements of ethical manufacturing. This then allows for fitness to carry out daily exercise needs and other activities in our normal daily lives.
Please remember to leave a comment and express your thoughts and views. They are as always very welcomed and thankfully received. They add further light to the article topic, engage others in discussion to achieve further insight to us all. Be well, safe and take care. All the best to you all until the next time.
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