Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present
in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune
system, skin, bones, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart,
lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. There are two different types
of vitamin A, carotenoids and retinyls. Retinyls are ready for use by the
body so are preferred over carotenoids which must be activated in the body.
It is obtained from the diet either as all-trans-retinol,
retinyl esters or ß-carotene. All-trans-retinol is esterified to
retinyl esters and stored in the liver, mostly in the stellate cells
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) helps regulate the amount of
calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to
keep bones, teeth, muscles healthy, cognitive health, and immune support.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children,
and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
It is synthesized in the skin
from a process which depends on sunlight.
Alternatively, it can be acquired in the diet or in vitamin supplements.
Vitamin D3 is converted in the liver. It can also be metabolized in
the kidneys to a physiologically active VD3 metabolite. In addition
to being processed in the liver and the kidneys, VD3 can also be
metabolized by cells of the immune system
A and Vitamin D work in partnership that has been has been refined through
time. They must be supplemented together so that a “functional” deficiency is
not created. The pairing of vitamin A
and vitamin D allows these two nutrients to balance, enhance, and contain each
other, through a receptor called RXR. The result, which cannot be achieved with
either nutrient alone, is a balanced, functioning immune system that does not swing
into autoimmune disease, or have trouble handling pathogens. A healthy immune
systems are linked to healthy nervous systems.
Vitamin D is the only
molecule that we create ourselves from light and turn into a hormone (OH25D).
Similarly, vitamin A, obtained through the diet, is the other dietary
lipid-based nutrient that we turn into a hormone (retinoic acid).
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