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Category Archives: Vitamins

Vitamin A: Benefits & Risk of Deficiency

Vitamin A: Benefits & Risk of Deficiency

Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble organic compounds stored in the liver. Included in this grouping are retinol (which you’ll often see in anti-aging skincare products), retinal (needed for proper functioning of the retina in the eye), retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids (ie. beta-carotene). Vitamin A is essential for growth and development of cells and tissues, immune system maintenance, the ability to fight infections, as well as eye and vision health. It is a primary function in developing the heart, lungs, kidneys, bones, and eyes of the fetus in the womb. Vitamin A is a one a day vitamin that you simply can’t go without!

 

Vitamin A is found in two forms: active (also called pre-formed vitamin A or retinol) and beta-carotene (a type of carotenoid, also called provitamin A). Active vitamin A can be found in animal foods such as eggs, liver, fish, and milk. It is “pre-formed” which means the body can use it directly and does not need to convert it. The other type of vitamin A, beta-carotene, can be found in fruits and vegetables such as mango, papaya, carrots, spinach, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. The body converts the plant pigments from these organic sources into vitamin A.

 

If you’re eating a balanced diet, it’s easy to get enough vitamin A. The recommended daily intake of vitamin A is approximately 900 micrograms a day for adult men and 700 micrograms a day for adult women. This would be about a cup of red peppers, two mangoes, or 20 ounces of pickled herring. If you’re wondering about the upper limit, it actually is possible to have too much vitamin A. Ever heard the saying “you are what you eat?” Well if you eat too many carrots, for example, and intake more than 10,000 IUs of vitamin A, it is possible that your skin will acquire a temporary orange tint!

 

Vitamin A deficiency (also called VAD or hypovitaminosis A) occurs when there’s a lack of vitamin A in the blood tissues. VAD is prevalent in poor countries where the staple diet is based mainly on rice or other foods low in micronutrients. VAD affects children and pregnant women the most, and if remediated could eliminate approximately one-third of all deaths of children under five years old. Night blindness (nyctalopia) is one of the first signs of VAD. Between 250,000 to 500,000 malnourished children in the developing world go blind each year from a deficiency of vitamin A, and approximately half of these children die within a year of becoming blind. Although VAD rarely occurs in developed countries where starvation and malnourishment aren’t common issues, it is still possible and can affect overall health.

 

Less severe signs and symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency include:

  • Anemia
  • Dry eyes, hair, skin, and mouth
  • Macular degeneration
  • Acne and/or skin infections
  • Poor vision in the dark (and as mentioned above, in extreme cases, night visual impairment or full blindness)
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Persistent sinus, respiratory, lung or ear infections

In order to avoid any risk of a vitamin A deficiency, make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet (check out this list of the top 10 vitamin A rich foods for inspiration on incorporating this essential nutrient), get regular physical check-ups, and get your eyes checked regularly. If your body is in need of a vitamin A boost, visit a supplement shop to pick up a bottle of our one a day vitamins NutriPods now!

5 Reasons Why You Should Practice Yoga

5 Reasons Why You Should Practice Yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years in Eastern cultures, and has more recently become established here in the West. Especially on Vancouver Island where we’re based, it’s hard to go more than a block without seeing a yoga studio! But there are several reasons yoga has become so popular. The benefits to strength,… Continue Reading

Vitamin D and Anemia

Vitamin D and Anemia

Vitamin D (aka the “sunshine vitamin”) is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes several functions in the body. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium to stimulate bone and joint health, improves digestion, increases concentration and memory, boosts mood, supports immune health, and prevents certain disease and ailments (breast cancer, heart disease, depression, and weight gain,… Continue Reading

Suffering From Chronic Inflammation? Try Turmeric!

Suffering From Chronic Inflammation? Try Turmeric!

Trending now: turmeric lattes. Instagram and other social media sites are currently teeming with colourful photos of turmeric lattes from local cafes. Not only are they delicious, the latte’s beautiful, rich, vibrant yellow colour makes it incredibly appealing to the eye. Have you ever wondered where turmeric gets its colour from? The ingredient curcumin is… Continue Reading

What’s the Deal With K2?

What’s the Deal With K2?

Ever heard of vitamin K2? If you’re like most people, we’re guessing the answer is no. And while this nutrient isn’t talked about much and may be easy to overlook, some say it’s the “missing link” between the Western diet and several diseases and health ailments we’re prone to suffer from.     Vitamin K… Continue Reading

What is a Superfood?

What is a Superfood?

These days, while scanning the aisles of your local grocery store, you’ll probably notice a bunch of buzzwords marketers throw onto packaging, and quite willy-nilly if you ask us. Whether it’s the terms green, organic, or fairtrade, oftentimes companies will stick these words on their labels just to draw in the attention of uneducated, less… Continue Reading

Krill Oil: Is it different from fish oil?

Krill Oil: Is it different from fish oil?

You probably know that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous benefits, from lowering triglycerides, to increasing joint health and lowering the effects of arthritis, to acting as a natural antidepressant, to regular tissue development and repair… and the list goes on. It’s recommended that we consume fatty… Continue Reading

How to take Nutripods

As with most vitamin and mineral pills, the “Pod” should be consumed with a proper meal; that is one with a mix of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Not with just a piece of fruit or a protein shake. Fat in pill form (i.e. Fish oil, Vit. E, Vit. A, Vit. D,) requires fat in the… Continue Reading

The Problem with “Mega Vitamin Packs”

The first and most obvious problem with old school mega-vitamin packs, is the outdated idea that you can’t have too many B vitamins. It is not as simple as just having the world’s most expensive urine (that bright yellow color is the B’s spilling over into the urine). Excess vitamins are a burden on the… Continue Reading

The Basics of Supplementation

So, you don’t fancy going through 10 bottles of vitamins every morning, and you go looking for the best “one-a-day multiple vitamin and mineral” that you can find. The problem is: no one tablet can provide sufficient quantities of everything you need, especially vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium. Were these to be included… Continue Reading

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About NutriStart

Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, NutriStart offers the finest vitamins and health solutions.

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NutriStart Vitamin Company
14-755 Vanalman Avenue
Victoria, BC
1-800-813-4233