vitamin A

Thyroid Immune Health + The Powerful Vitamin No One is Talking About

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Thyroid Immune Health + The Powerful Vitamin No One is Talking About

There’s an unsung hero among us that doesn’t have the mainstream attention that Vitamin D does when it comes to immune health, but this vitamin is as equally powerful and we are just as equally deficient.  

Say hello to Vitamin A.

What it does:

Let me probably haven’t given Vitamin A much thought because once upon a time you heard it was toxic and potentially dangerous.  Research has shown that Vitamin A can be toxic in high doses, so there is some validity there. Unfortunately, what many don’t know is that Vitamin A deficiency is profound and widespread and impacts many systems and functions in the body, including overall immune system health.  Specifically, Vitamin A helps to control inflammation, balance immune response and prevent auto-immune activation.  If you’re putting two and two together, you just figured out that suboptimal levels of Vitamin A can cause loss of immune tolerance, which puts you at an increased risk of catching the cold or flu.   

Are you deficient?

A blood draw from any physician can reveal if you’re deficient in Vitamin A or not.  Ideally, you’d like to be in the upper half of the reference range. If you’re not, speak to your physician about possible supplementation.

Start getting Vitamin A from real, whole foods:

It’s not lost on me that the food God chose to put into season at the onset of cold and flu season has a lot of beta-carotene in it.  Plant based foods high in beta-carotene:

  • Carrots

  • Squashes

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Dark leafy greens

  • Cantaloupe

  • Red Bell peppers

  • Apricots

  • Broccoli

However, it’s not quite as simple as just eating more of these foods.  

Beta-carotene needs to be converted in our bodies into Vitamin A before it can be absorbed and used.  Unfortunately, many of us do a very poor job of converting and absorbing beta-carotene due to a whole host of factors including but not limited to gut dysbiosis, genetics, parasite infection, digestive enzyme imbalance, and even hypothyroidism.  The health of the T3 hormone is very important to the conversion of beta-carotene into the whole, fully formed Vitamin A.

Due to these challenges, many people have more success getting Vitamin A from animal sources, since it’s already available in its fully formed state.  Animal based foods high in Vitamin A:

  • Eggs (including the yolk)

  • Butter

  • Beef

  • Oily fish

If you have had past experiences of getting sick often or can’t shake a cold or flu for a long time after, ask your physician to check your Vitamin A levels!  Most of us are walking around in a suboptimal state without knowing it! Start today by adding more plant based and/or animal based sources of Vitamin A into your diet to strengthen your immune system and to set your body up for combating illness this season.

I’d love to know what else you’re doing to boost immunity either for yourself or for your kids!  Leave me a comment below!

Thyroid Alive! Is now enrolling participants for the January 2019 session and I couldn’t be happier to offer a FREE Blood Chemistry Analysis Session to the first 3 people who sign up!

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