The Vitamin Guide Series A-Z: Vol:1

The Vitamin Guide Series A-Z: Vol:1

You’ve heard it from the time you were a child. “You need to get your vitamins.” But many of us only have a vague understanding of what vitamins do & which ones we truly need…

In this series I will guide you through the world of vitamins, outlining what they do, how much you need & what benefits you should recognise when you keep each at their optimal level.

I will also outline important signs & symptoms to watch out for that may signify you need more (or even less!) of these vitamins. So get ready, & let’s begin, at the beginning, with Vitamin A.

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The Benefits of Vitamin A…

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in bone growth, the immune system & the reproductive system.

There are two types of vitamin A.

Performed vitamin A, also referred to as retinol which is found in animal products such as milk, eggs, meat, cheese, liver, cream & kidneys.

There is also pro-vitamin A which is found in plant-based foods.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) the most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A helps mucous membranes repel bacteria & fight off viruses more effectively.

Vitamin A is also essential for healthy vision. It may even help to slow retinal decline in people with retinitis pigmentosa (a group of degenerative disorders that affect the retinas ability to respond to light).

A study performed by the National Eye Institute found that vitamin A, combined with zinc may reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (a painless eye condition that’s causes loss of central vision) by nearly 25%.

The Optimal Amount of Vitamin A…

The optimal amount of vitamin a for men: 900 mcg

Optimal amount of vitamin A for women: 700 mcg

Remember that it is possible to have ‘too much of a good thing’!

According to multiple studies performed by the American Heart Association high doses of antioxidants (including Vitamin A) may actually do more harm than good.

It is important to check your blood levels regularly & consult your doctor to ensure your vitamin levels are at optimum.

Vitamin A Diet Additions…

The following foods are rich in pro-vitamin A & would make a great addition to your weekly meal plans:

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Collard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Winter Squash
  • Swiss Chard
  • Sweet Potatoes (eat within a balanced diet — do you deserve your carbs?)

Bottom Line…

The more detail the better.

Do not load up on any one vitamin, mineral or supplement without supporting evidence such as blood tests or symptoms of deficiency.

As I always suggest a yearly or twice yearly blood test which accurately determines your vitamin & mineral status is ideal.

Keep your vitamins topped up & you will achieve your personal best & live through an optimal state of being.

Keep up the healthy work. Speak again soon.

To Your Best Health

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant


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Originally published at on January 8, 2016.