What does vitamin A do in the Body?
Thyroid and hormonal expert Dr. Ray Peat writes about the importance of vitamin A in the production of the body’s anti-aging and anti-stress hormones. Dr. Ray Peat also mentions Vitamin A’s importance for healthy eyes, teeth, and skin as well as good immune function. Getting enough vitamin A is necessary for the integrity of mucous membranes and thereby the protection of the body from the outside environment.
Does vitamin A have anti-aging effect?
Vitamin A is necessary for the body’s ability to produce protective anti-aging hormones including pregnenolone, progesterone. These hormones are necessary for good health and the body’s resistance to stress, aging inflammation, and disease.
Pregnenolone and progesterone are produced in high amounts in youth, thus these hormones are also called youth associated hormones. The body needs cholesterol, vitamin A, red light, and thyroid hormone to produce enough of these youth-associated hormones. Thus, vitamin A is an important part of our protective hormone system.
In our hypothyroid Treatment Program, you can learn more about the importance of the body’s protective hormones, and which symptoms indicate that your production of pregnenolone and progesterone is too low. You can also learn about how you can supplement directly with these hormones in our Hormonal Support Guide.
Importantly vitamin A also has anti-estrogenic properties. According to Dr. Ray Peat and explained in detail in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program, estrogen is an inflammation and aging promoting hormone.
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency?
What foods are rich in Vitamin A?
Several foods contain vitamin A. Here is a list of some thyroid-friendly foods which are rich in Vitamin A and part of our thyroid-supporting diet, which is explained in detail in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program.
From highest to lowest content of Vitamin A: Cod liver turkey liver, beef pork and fish liver, chicken liver, ghee, butter, cheddar cheese, eggs, and milk.
In our Nutritional Supplement Guide, you can learn more about how much vitamin A you need and different dosage examples, if you wish to supplement with Vitamin A.
Supplementing vitamin A?
Your metabolic rate determines how much vitamin A you need. According to Dr. Ray Peat, the higher your thyroid function the more vitamin A your body needs. On the contrary, if you have very low thyroid function using too much vitamin A, can suppress your metabolism.
The higher your thyroid function the more vitamin A you need, and the more protective hormones (pregnenolone, progesterone, and DHEA) you are able to produce.
On the other hand, if you have a low thyroid function you need to be careful not to overdose on vitamin A, as it can have anti-thyroid effects. If your thyroid function is low, using a vitamin A supplement is generally not advisable. You can get an idea of your thyroid function by using our home thyroid test.
The best Vitamin A supplement?
Importantly beta-carotene supplements, which are often sold as vitamin A are not recommended by Dr. Ray Peat. First of all very little of the beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A. Secondly beta-carotene has a similar structure to polyunsaturated fats, which inhibits thyroid function. You can learn more about which foods and substances inhibit thyroid function in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program.
Thyroid Supporting Nutritional Supplements
We have collected a list of high-quality Dr. Ray Peat-inspired nutritional supplements that are supportive of a healthy thyroid function and good hormonal balance. In our Nutritional Supplement Guide, you can learn about the brands and dosages of Vitamin A and other nutritional supplements, which are beneficial.