Vitamin A is also known as Beta-carotene. However, here is where it gets confusing - they are not the same! True Vitamin A is found only in animal products, such as butter, egg yolks, liver, organ meats and shellfish. Beta-carotene is found in plant food, such as carrots, red gell peppers, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and particularly leafy greens (collard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens). And for the animal product to be a good source of Vitamin A, they should be eating green food, such as cows eating green grass. Think of the animal as a Vitamin A factory! When we consume Beta-carotene from plants (or vitamin supplements) our body has to convert it into Vitamin A. And guess what - we aren't that efficient in doing that. To learn all about Vitamin A click here.
Vitamin A supports the endocrine, immune, integumentary (that's skin), and reproductive systems along with our eyes. It is required for growth and natural repair of many body tissues, and maintains integrity of blood cells and epithelial tissue lining the gut, lungs, and reproductive tract.
Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.