3

votes

Is it true that you can only get vitamin A from animal sources?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I read here that the body doesn't absorb vitamin A from vegetable sources and that the body only absorbs vitamin A from animal sources.

Is this true? Would cod liver oil supplements work?

Thank you Richie

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 27, 2013
at 12:41 PM

Vitamin A is retinol. Beta carotene is not retinol, but rather pro-vitamin A, it must be converted to the active vitamin. So legit active vitamin A is not found in plant foods, only animal foods (and supplements).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 27, 2013
at 01:24 AM

What about it? It's a retinol ester (retinol coupled with a fatty acid). Again, the only source of retinol is animals (and ourselves).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:41 PM

I haven't heard much about Retinyl Palmitate, here's what I just gathered from a simple google search, http://www.truthinaging.com/ingredient-spotlight/what-is-it-retinyl-palmitate-not-to-be-confused-with-retinol . I'd just use regular fish oil liver gels unless you have some reason to believe Retinyl Palmitate would be better for some reason.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:16 PM

What about Retinyl Palmitate?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:16 PM

What about Retinyl Palmitate?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:34 PM

A powder would probably be fine in the context of a meal since we're talking about microgram quantities that require like a single fat droplet to dissolve. I just use the capsules though when I think I'm low (which is right now).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:33 PM

@Richie, gelatin is paleo (as bone broth fanatics will attest). Glycerin? It's the backbone of all the fats (triglycerides) you eat... paleo.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:30 PM

You want your Vitamin A bound to an oil.. It's fat soluble..

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:29 PM

A vitamin A insufficiency/deficiency is a trillion times more damaging than any of those ingredients.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:22 PM

Others have stuff like dicalcium phosphate and magnesium stearate...none of which sound very paleo to me

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:20 PM

They problem is most of the vitamin A supplements I find have other non paleo ingredients in them. Solgar has a good 10,000 IU softgel but this is what the "other ingredients" label says: Gelatin, vegetable glycerin, safflower oil and a bunch of different fish species. The first 3 definitely aren't paleo especially the safflower oil.

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5 Answers

5
Medium avatar

on March 26, 2013
at 08:10 PM

It's not true that you can't convert beta-carotene to retinol, but the conversion rates I've seen in studies are quite low. I haven't seen evidence of this, but I suspect that vitamin D supplementation increases the absorption and conversion of both beta-carotene and phylloquinone to retinol and menatetrenone, respectively, but still not to levels needed as a result of the increased vitamin D levels.

Many have success with cod liver oil, but some of the supplements are molecularly distilled and have low amounts of vitamin A.

Liver would be the way to go given the significant nutrient density, especially the copper, which is difficult to obtain from other foods.

You could also just take a preformed vitamin A supplement. They're typically sold as 10,000IUs per capsule, which is probably excessive for a person who doesn't take vitamin D or get a lot of sun, but correct for someone who does.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:22 PM

Others have stuff like dicalcium phosphate and magnesium stearate...none of which sound very paleo to me

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:20 PM

They problem is most of the vitamin A supplements I find have other non paleo ingredients in them. Solgar has a good 10,000 IU softgel but this is what the "other ingredients" label says: Gelatin, vegetable glycerin, safflower oil and a bunch of different fish species. The first 3 definitely aren't paleo especially the safflower oil.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:34 PM

A powder would probably be fine in the context of a meal since we're talking about microgram quantities that require like a single fat droplet to dissolve. I just use the capsules though when I think I'm low (which is right now).

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:29 PM

A vitamin A insufficiency/deficiency is a trillion times more damaging than any of those ingredients.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:33 PM

@Richie, gelatin is paleo (as bone broth fanatics will attest). Glycerin? It's the backbone of all the fats (triglycerides) you eat... paleo.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:30 PM

You want your Vitamin A bound to an oil.. It's fat soluble..

4
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:21 PM

You only get Vitamin A as retinol from animal products. You can get Vitamin A as Beta-Carotene from vegetable products (think carrots, sweet potatoes, most things orange). Unfortunately just how much Beta-Carotene is converted to Retinol varies from person to person. Retinol is the form of Vitamin A that is active in your body so to speak.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:16 PM

What about Retinyl Palmitate?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:41 PM

I haven't heard much about Retinyl Palmitate, here's what I just gathered from a simple google search, http://www.truthinaging.com/ingredient-spotlight/what-is-it-retinyl-palmitate-not-to-be-confused-with-retinol . I'd just use regular fish oil liver gels unless you have some reason to believe Retinyl Palmitate would be better for some reason.

3
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:11 PM

One of the big problems with this sort of thing is the length of the studies. If your body isn't used to converting beta-carotene into retinol, then it will take some time for it to get good at it. Studies, generally, speaking, aren't that long. Two weeks, maybe?

So, we don't really know, but the prudent thing to do is get some of both.

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 26, 2013
at 08:49 PM

Active vitamin A (retinol) is only found in animals. Humans can manufacture it (from the same compounds animals do), but some folks appear to have very poor conversion rates. Conversion rates really depend on the amount of preformed retinol you consume as well. As veg*ns have very good conversion rates typically, while meat-eaters (liver-eaters in particular) have piss-poor conversion rates.

I myself just started a preformed retinol experiment on myself. I don't consume liver (effectively never), but decided to consume enough liver to provide 1000+% DV retinol per week. Going to give it 8-12 weeks and see if an effect can be had. I already consume probably 3000-4000% DV based on beta carotene alone.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 27, 2013
at 01:24 AM

What about it? It's a retinol ester (retinol coupled with a fatty acid). Again, the only source of retinol is animals (and ourselves).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:16 PM

What about Retinyl Palmitate?

-1
70a51cb3b5dba4ac2e9d5d60c3100635

on March 27, 2013
at 11:11 AM

Of course you can get Vit A from vegetable sources. Eat carrots with a little fat (butter?) and you will enhance the Vit A conversion. Vit A is fat soluble.

Vit A supplements can be dangerous and could lead to poisoning.

Read more here - http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/vitamina.html

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 27, 2013
at 12:41 PM

Vitamin A is retinol. Beta carotene is not retinol, but rather pro-vitamin A, it must be converted to the active vitamin. So legit active vitamin A is not found in plant foods, only animal foods (and supplements).

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