Neglected Nutrients: Vitamin A

The first nutrient we’re going to look at in this series is vitamin A. Vitamin A is part of a class of vitamins that are fat-soluble, meaning they require a fatty-medium for which to dissolve in, and can be stored within the body (specifically the liver in this case) for later use. It is also important to keep in mind that vitamin A cannot be absorbed without sufficient dietary fat present. Accroding to the Linus Pauling Institute, Vitamin A’s many functions include: regulating the growth and differentiation of virtually all cells in the body especially the skin, structure and maintenance of the visual system in the eyes, bone remodeling including the teeth, regulation of gene expression, and immunity. Vitamin A (as well as vitamin D) is critical for the proper development of all the organs of the fetus during pregnancy. It also plays a large role in protecting the mucus membranes of the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs through its promotion of secretory IgA, an antibody used for disabling pathogens and marking them for destruction.  Continue reading Neglected Nutrients: Vitamin A