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Vitamin A

Beta Carotene, or Vitamin A, can be obtained from either animal or vegetable sources. The animal form is divided between retinol and dehydroretinol whereas the vegetable beta-carotene can be split into four very potent groups - alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, gamma-carotene and crypto-carotene. With enough beta-carotene available in the body, the body can manufacture its own.

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Vitamin A ( Beta-Carotene)
Important for : Utilizing protein; formation of bones and teeth; new cell growth; maintenance and repair of epithelial tissue (skin and mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs); aiding protection against airborne infections (flu and colds).
Sources : Green and yellow fruits and vegetables (e.g. apricots; asparagus; broccoli; carrots; garlic; papayas; peaches; pumpkin; red peppers; spinach; squash; turnip greens and watercress).

Animal livers and fish liver oils.

Herbs (e.g. alfalfa; burdock root; cayenne; fennel; hops; kelp; lemongrass; paprika; parsley; peppermint; raspberry leaf; rosehips; sage and violet leaves).
Possible deficiency symptoms : Night blindness; dryness of the eyes; increased susceptibility to illness or infection such as colds; rough or dry skin; acne; poor growth; loss of smell and/or appetite; insomnia; and teeth and gum problems.
Hinders maximum absorption : Antibiotics, alcohol and coffee may impede absorption by the body
Additional Information : Acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from disease and best taken with food for maximum absorption.

A class of compounds related to vitamin A are classified as Carotenoids. The most commonly known is Beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Taking too much Beta-carotene may turn your skin an orangey-yellow colour but is not harmful.

Overdosing for lengthy periods can be toxic to the liver. Overdosing cannot occur with Beta-carotene.

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