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First of all, it’s a very effective infection fighter and a key nutrient to maintain a healthy immune system. Seems right in line with what we need today with so many people facing the challenge of COVID-19 and the various strains of the virus. Infection is one of the common symptoms of contracting the virus.

What is vitamin A and what does it do?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, especially nighttime vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.

There are two different types of vitamin A. The first type, preformed Vitamin A, is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The second type, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin A in foods and dietary supplements is Beta-carotene.

Here is where the problems lies. 50 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, the preformed vitamin A.  Let’s call it the real vitamin A  and, unfortunately, is not consumed by many people. Beta-carotene is NOT vitamin A but, under perfect conditions, can be converted to vitamin A in the body.  However, a large  percentage of people CANNOT convert Beta-carotene into vitamin A leaving 50% of Americans deficient in this powerful infection fighter of all types of infection throughout the body, such as bladder, kidneys, sinus and upper respiratory tract.  And, for all the wrong reasons, Beta-carotene, the provitamin A, is usually recommended and very few people really consume enough real vitamin A.

The problem with provitamin A is that it truly is not real vitamin A, but possibly can be converted in the body into the real preformed vitamin A.  A large percentage of people have difficulties converting Beta-carotene into the true form of real vitamin A, which may be one of the reasons 50% of the population are deficient in vitamin A. Plus, so many people today do not eat enough fruits and vegetables to obtain sufficient quantities of Beta-carotene.

The second problem with taking the real vitamin A is the dosage. Several decades ago, most natural supplements contained the real vitamin A, 10,000 to 25,000 IU’s of vitamin A. 95% of all supplements use the provitamin A from Beta-carotene.  Just to make sure you understand, this is NOT vitamin A, but maybe it is and maybe it is not.  Vitamin A from Beta-carotene cannot fight infection.

I would never find a reason to take Beta-carotene as a potential source of vitamin A. Use the real, natural vitamin A. Your immune system and your entire body will be healthy and happy.

Always check with your doctor before you increase your levels of vitamin A or any other nutrient.

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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