Unfortunately, the results of a poorly done study in the 90’s which showed that synthetic vitamin A taken by pregnant women increased the risk of birth defects, most practitioners are now afraid of recommending vitamin A intake (of any kind) during pregnancy, and also avoid recommending it to their patients. However, Vitamin is actually critical for normal fetal development, as well as ongoing health throughout our lifetime. It is only the synthetic forms we should be avoiding.
Deficiencies in Vitamin A are not only apparent in weakened immune systems, but it has also been correlated with auto-immune diseases, neurological issues, vision loss, cancers and other health concerns.
Foods that contain Vitamin A include liver, cod liver oil, dairy products, eggs, and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. However, it’s important to note that fruits and vegetables don’t contain an active form of Vitamin A. They only contain carotenoids; these are precursors to Vitamin A which the body must convert into an active form that the body can use. There are a variety of factors which make this difficult for the body to do (hypothyroidism, zinc or iron deficiencies, diets high in fibre or raw plant food), so it is best to rely on animal products to obtain your vitamin A.
If you need to supplement with Vitamin A, ensure you’re getting the retinol form.
Learn more about vitamin A from Pam Schoenfield of Women and Family Nutrition on her guest appearance on the Wise Traditions podcast: https://www.westonaprice.org/podcast/233-vitamin-a-mazing/
You can also visit her website at https://www.womenandfamilynutrition.com/ just search ‘Vitamin A’ when you get there!
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