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Picture of Di
Location: California
Registered: 13 September 2005
Posts: 351
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Is Vitamin A a good suplment for skin? I just started taking extra Vitamin A (as fish liver oil) 10,000iu. Or should I be taking Vitamin A (beta carotene). Which one is better for skin?

Thank you Smiler
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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I read on several sources that Fish Oil derived vit A is mostly in the refined form, and it has some side effects (if i remember correctly one is preventing proper absorption of calcium, when taken at high doses).
On the book "eat drink and be healthy" by Dr. Willett it says to search for supplements that contain all or at least most of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene


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Picture of Di
Location: California
Registered: 13 September 2005
Posts: 351
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You know what your right. I also read that about the calcium absorption. I guess I wont be taking that one. I'll take the beta carotene. Thanks so much Rossana.
Di Smiler
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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You are very welcome. Yeah I always check on the multivitamin supplements as well, because many of them have preformed vitamin A in high doses.


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Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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I checked on the book "Eat Drink and Be Healthy" by dr. Willett once I got home, so here is what it says:

"Several studies have shown that intakes of preformed vitamin A (retinol) increase the chance of losing bone density [...] and of cancer" as it can "block the effects of vitamin D, which is good for bones and muscles and has a calming effect on cancer cells.
It is relatively easy to get too much vitamin A from supplements. [...] When shopping for a multivitamin, look for one that gets all or most of its vitamin A activity from beta-carotene. Try to keep your intake of preformed vitamin A (retinol) from supplements under 2000 IU per day."

About your question vitamin A vs skin: here are the benefits that the book lists for vitamin A:
- helps maintain the cells that line the body's interior surfaces
- boost activity and production of white cells
- help regulate cell growth and differentiation (this suggests that it may have mild cancer prevention effect)
- studies show that once you reach a certain threshold level of vitamin A in your system, there is no benefit in getting more. The threshold appears to be 900 mcg (= 3000 IU) for men and 700 mcg (= 2333 IU) for women.

On wikipedia it says that "Because cod liver oil has a very high level of Vitamin A, it is possible to exceed the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin A. Vitamin A accumulates in body fat, and can reach harmful levels sufficient to cause hypervitaminosis A."


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Picture of Di
Location: California
Registered: 13 September 2005
Posts: 351
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WOW! Thank you Rossana, I sure am glad I asked and only took a 3 or 4 of the cod liver oil supplements. I see my multi vitamin only has 2500iu of beta-carotene. I think I better just stick with that. Thank you for looking that up for me that was so nice of you. Thumbs UP! I think I'll just stick with the extra vitamin C and get some MSM.

Thank you
Di Smiler
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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Glad I could help.

Yes definitively your multivitamin sounds enough for vitamin A.
Along with MSM and vit C you could take borage oil for the skin. What I also do is grinding two tablespoons of flax seeds into my breakfast every morning.. They are excellent in omega 3 and linoleic acid and great to help skin repair.
I also eat wild pacific salmon often (polynsaturated fats), and extra virgin olive oil (monosaturated fats). This makes cod liver supplements not necessary, and your get the benefits of fish in its natural form

Personally I also take vitamin E in the form of mixed tocopherols (not just alpha, which is the cheapest most common form).

If you are above 40 years old or so, it might be a good idea to get some Lipoic Acid supplements (100 mg daily), coenzime Q10 and ginkgo biloba.
You can find out more on the book "The antioxidant miracle" by Dr. Lester Packer.

Finally, what I personally do is taking weekly and monthly breaks from any supplements, that is discontinue any supplements for 2 days each week and 1 week each month, so that you reset the cells response.


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Picture of Di
Location: California
Registered: 13 September 2005
Posts: 351
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Thank you Rossanna. I'll keep all that in mind. You have been so helpful. I never thought to stop the vitamins for awhile. That's interesting.

Thank you Smiler
Location: new york
Registered: 28 June 2007
Posts: 665
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Vitamin A is being unfairly maligned. Every few years some "scientific' study "proves" that a nutrient causes cancer or is bad for the health in supplemental form. Yet these "scientists" ignore the dangers of the many pharmaceutical drugs and chemical additives we ingest.

I have been reading about health and nutrition since I was a kid and I can remember when any amount of Vit D over the RDA of 400iu was considered toxic and cod liver oil was supposedly harmful because of the high vitamin-d content. Now we know that 400iu is much too low for optimal health, whether we get it from food or from the sun.

In my native country, kids were given cod liver oil regularly and even the adults took it. If vit-a caused cancer, we would have a much higher rate of cancer than the US. The truth is cod liver oil is a safe source of vitamins A and D as well as omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, some people cannot convert beta carotene to Vit-A and so would need pre-formed vitamin A.

Read the short article below:
www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n09.shtml
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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Well I personally trust the scientific literature about the limits that should be observed on the PREFORMED vit A because there are tons of studies about this, and from authoritative sources (just to mention one example: "Eat Drink and Be Healthy" from Dr. Willet, who is the Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School).
Studies confirm that mega doses of preformed vit A are also interfering with the absorption of vit D, which is equally important as vit A. That is just a fact.

So my personal opinion is: what is the point of taking the chance of the side effects when we can just use normal doses of vit A and at most integrate with beta carotene. Nobody has ever said vit A is malignant (we need vit A, that is for sure) but it is often good to apply the wise old quote "too much of a good thing"......


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Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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PS: about cancer rate in countries with completely different habits, well a specific factor should not be taken as a proof. Example: in France and Italy smoking is a national hobby. Yet their cancer rate is not any higher than in the US. Does that mean smoking is not unhealthy at all? No, it simply means that cancers are determined by a whole lot of life long factors and it is often impossible to port to a completely different country what the outcome will be for a particular habit, without considering many many other factors that affect the outcome.


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Picture of Dr. Pickart
Location: Skin Biology
Registered: 15 September 2004
Posts: 7065
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Very old people who are above about 105, often report they both smoke and drink.

Then at a certain age, their physician insists that they stop smoking and drinking and then they die.
Picture of amirpana
Location: U.A.E
Registered: 09 January 2007
Posts: 305
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quote:
Originally posted by Rossana:
Well I personally trust the scientific literature about the limits that should be observed on the PREFORMED vit A because there are tons of studies about this, and from authoritative sources (just to mention one example: "Eat Drink and Be Healthy" from Dr. Willet, who is the Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School).
Studies confirm that mega doses of preformed vit A are also interfering with the absorption of vit D, which is equally important as vit A. That is just a fact.

So my personal opinion is: what is the point of taking the chance of the side effects when we can just use normal doses of vit A and at most integrate with beta carotene. Nobody has ever said vit A is malignant (we need vit A, that is for sure) but it is often good to apply the wise old quote "too much of a good thing"......
Important topic on Vitamin A & D on http://www.westonaprice.org/co...itamins-a-and-d.html. Please read it very important do not be mislead. It's all about proper ratios of different vitamins such as A,D and K2.Beta carotene might not be enough to substitute preformed vitamin A in every case. Look always for natural vitamin A not synthetic one.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: amirpana,
Location: new york
Registered: 28 June 2007
Posts: 665
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amirpana:
Your link does not work on my computer but I am aware of Dr Price and his work. That is one reason I started taking my cod liver oil again years ago. People are free to believe that doctors at Harvard are always right.
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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From that page:
"POSSIBLE HARM
What about higher levels? The evidence is conflicting, and some of it indicates possible harm. "
The point is not "vit A causes harm", which clearly is silly. The problem is "most things in excessive amount cause harm".
I do take cod liver oil too sometimes. But i dont drink a bottle of it in one day. Some pills contain such a big quantity of preformed synthetic vit A that its like drinking huge amounts of natural cod oil. And these I suspect are the most common supplements, as most people dont like the taste, smell and texture of natural cod liver oil.
In Italian theres a quote that says "its the dose that makes the poison".
Preformed vit A is apparently easy to stuff into pills in its synthetic form and people may easily not realize how much of it they are taking because its only a quick pill to swallow. I do wonder if that evidence (which is admitted in that page too) should not be considered a bit. But everyone is perfectly free to ignore it. Whichever the case, its not a matter of believing to doctor Right or doctor Magic. Its mere common sense.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Rossana,


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Picture of amirpana
Location: U.A.E
Registered: 09 January 2007
Posts: 305
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quote:
Originally posted by Rossana:
From that page:
"POSSIBLE HARM
What about higher levels? The evidence is conflicting, and some of it indicates possible harm. "
The point is not "vit A causes harm", which clearly is silly. The problem is "most things in excessive amount cause harm".
I do take cod liver oil too sometimes. But i dont drink a bottle of it in one day. Some pills contain such a big quantity of preformed synthetic vit A that its like drinking huge amounts of natural cod oil. And these I suspect are the most common supplements, as most people dont like the taste, smell and texture of natural cod liver oil.
In Italian theres a quote that says "its the dose that makes the poison".
Preformed vit A is apparently easy to stuff into pills in its synthetic form and people may easily not realize how much of it they are taking because its only a quick pill to swallow. I do wonder if that evidence (which is admitted in that page too) should not be considered a bit. But everyone is perfectly free to ignore it. Whichever the case, its not a matter of believing to doctor Right or doctor Magic. Its mere common sense.
Hi Rossana, I believe we in civilized aggricultural world are basically vitamin A deficients beta carotenes conversion rate to preformed retinol is insuffiecent at most. There is a complex interaaction between A&D both can prevent each other's toxicity. I am not talking about synthetic Retinol natural vitamin A in Cod liver or butter has many different isomers and forms such as vitamin A alcohol and Aldehyde forms.Clinical tests are done solely on synthetic Vitamin A's toxicity levels and in absence of vitamin D. And remember god is perfect.Humans make mistakes and speculation untill definite proof found.
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