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Vitamin A

Vitamin A Supplements may Negate Benefits of Vitamin D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 by: Deanna Dean
Tags: vitamin A, vitamin D, health news

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(NewsTarget) Most of you are well aware that vitamin D has a legion of health benefits crucial to every one of us. What is alarming is the latest research in the British Medical Journal, which appears to confirm: that a form of vitamin A in surprisingly small doses may negate many of the beneficial health effects of vitamin D. This is the largest study to date showing vitamin A blocks vitamin D`s effect.

Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., an internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D. Given that cancer, heart disease and diabetes are three of the top causes of death in the United States, getting enough of this vitamin should be a top priority. Unfortunately most of us are vitamin D deficient. It is clearly important to avoid anything that might hamper your vitamin D production. Surprisingly, it appears vitamin A supplementation may indeed have this effect.

In a recent article, Dr. John Jacob Cannell, MD, executive director of The Vitamin D Council, discussed the British Medical Journal report. He says:
"The crux of the problem is that a form of vitamin A, retinoic acid weakly activates the vitamin D response element on the gene and perhaps blocks vitamin D`s more robust activation." In fact, the authors of a 1993 study state, "there is a profound inhibition of vitamin D-activated...gene expression by retinoic acid."

The distinction is between various forms of vitamin A.

It is the retinoic acid (retinol) form of vitamin A that is problematic. Not beta carotene.

Beta carotene is not a concern because it is PRE-vitamin A. Your body will simply not over-convert beta carotene to excessive levels of vitamin A. So foods with beta carotene or taking beta carotene supplements are not going to interfere with vitamin D.

In addition, Dr. Cannell goes on to say, "As I began reviewing the latest research, I realized there was compelling evidence that the ratios of these two vitamins may be of paramount importance in order to extract optimal health benefits. It`s important to understand the two work in tandem. But if you`re deficient in vitamin A, vitamin D cannot function properly either."
Proper balance of these two vitamins is essential; however, the optimal ratios are unknowable at this point.

Most of us can remember our grandparents using cod liver oil as the Holy Grail for health. But it seems nearly all cod liver oil products supply vitamins A and D in levels that are not ideal.
This means that a "vitamin A supplementation is potentially dangerous. Vitamin A production is tightly controlled in your body, the source being carotenoids from vegetables in your intestine. Your body uses these carotenoids to make exactly the right amount of retinol. But when you take vitamin A as retinol directly, such as in cod liver oil, you intervene in this closed system and bypass the controls."

The summary advice is to avoid cod liver oil, avoid multivitamins that have the retinol form of vitamin A, and eat a variety of colorful vegetables along with limited daily sun exposure.

In addition, use a high quality source of chlorella, an important superfood that is loaded with natural beta carotene.

You might also want to obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test to make sure your vitamin D blood levels are between 50-80 ng/mL.

Vitamin D has necessary co-factors that the body needs in order to utilize vitamin D properly. They are: magnesium (the most important), zinc, vitamin K2, boron, genistein, and a tiny amount of Vitamin A.

Your healthmate,
Deanna Dean

March 16, 2010

The Vitamin D Council
1241 Johnson Ave., #134
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Posted by Aristotle The Hun at 12:40 AM


March 16, 2010

About the author

Deanna Dean is the Wellness Director for Your Health Coach, a company dedicated to health and wellness education.
website: yourhealthcoachdee.com
Dee is a Wellness & Weight Loss Coach, a Certified Natural Health Professional, is pursuing an ND degree-Naturopathic Doctor, is a certified Raw Chef, certified in Dietary Guidelines from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, former Personal Trainer, Yoga and Fitness Studio Owner, TV and Radio Guest, Health Columnist.
Deanna develops customized programs to enhance the health of her clients, educates, and coaches dieters for safe weight loss.

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