Sassisailor’s Weblog

A description of my journey to improve my eyesight naturally

Additional Vitamin A information April 2, 2008

Filed under: Nutrition — sassisailor @ 8:44 am

I received a lot of great comments concerning Vitamin A.  I didn’t realize there would be so much interest and I didn’t spend very much time writing my post ‘Vitamin A Therapy’.  Had I realized this I would have been more diligent in my writing.  James mentioned that the Weston  Price Foundation has some great information on Vitamin A.  I will include the link here as I found it to be an excellent article with GREAT information.  If you’re interested in more information about this vital micronutrient I highly recommend reading this article:

Vitamin A from animal sources is in a direct form of Vitamin A – retinol, while Vitamin A in fruits and veggies is in the form of beta-carotene (must be converted to Vitamin A).  Retinol is the source that can be toxic at very high levels (varies by the individual), but I will not advise as to the levels of toxicity as I am not a medical doctor and there is controversy concerning toxicity of Vitamin A.  Please read the above link for a review.  Beta-carotene must be converted to Vitamin A in the body, and as Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin it must be in the presence of bile-acids to successfully make the conversion in the intestines.  As a result, beta-carotene sources should be eaten with fats.  Butter and whole milk are a source of Vitamin A and are a good addition to fruits and veggies to provide the necessary fats and retinol.  James also mentions red palm oil as a good Vitamin A (and Vit. E) source. 

After reading the Weston Price information on Vitamin A I am thinking of adding liver to my diet.  I have liver from animals we have hunted and from free range Wyoming cattle, as we keep this for our dogs. So these are healthy liver sources.  I have never liked the texture, but am willing to experiment with it for health purposes.  I do eat a lot of eggs and butter, but do not drink whole milk.  After reading the Weston-Price info I have concluded that eating carrots alone as my Vitamin A source will most likely not improve my night vision dramatically.  Documented cures of night blindness and blindness due to Vitamin A deficiency occur when the patient was treated with animal sources of Vitamin A; such as liver, and the eyes from trout in one specific case (retinas contain very high levels of retinol).  My dog will eat fish heads, but I’m not sure if I have the stomach for this!  I think I will stick to venturing out and eating animal liver first and trying the red palm oil to supplement my diet.   I will post an update if I find any palatable methods for eating liver.  If anyone has some suggestions I would love to hear your recommendations for preparing liver of any kind.


Vitamin A Therapy April 1, 2008

Filed under: My Daily Progress,Nutrition — sassisailor @ 9:03 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about my vision this last week and have been reading a wonderful book titled “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” by Elson Haas.  This chapter I’m on now is concerning vitamins.  After reading about Vitamin A I realized that I need to take this seriously.  Everyone knows that carrots are wonderful and beneficial for the eyes, but how many of us actually make the commitment to consuming enough Vitamin A everyday.  Most Americans are Vitamin A deficient (which is worse for more than just your eyes) and in this book he states that Vitamin A has been used for treatment of many eye disorders, including nearsightedness!  So enough laziness –> today I went to the supermarket and bought a 5 lb bag of organic carrots.  They are large carrots, and today I ate two.  My goal is to eat two a day for a week and then cut back to one a day.

I am not a medical doctor, but I feel the need to remind readers that you can develop toxic levels of Vitamin A.  The body cannot eliminate Vitamin A so it is stored in the liver.  Consult your physician if you decide to start taking a Vit. A supplement.  Animal liver is the best source of Vit A but the levels are also very high, so be careful if you decide to consume liver for your Vitamin A source.  I chose carrots because one 3 oz carrot will give you about 300% of your RDA of Vitamin A (I think the RDA is about 2300 – 3000 IUs per day).  Consuming more than this over an extended period can be deadly.  I think some livers have more than 10,000 IUs per serving!

The reason I decided to try Vitamin A therapy is because of the huge discrepancy between my vision during full sunlight and dim lighting.  Night blindness can be remedied with Vitamin A so I reasoned that Vitamin A can probably bring about a marked improvement in my dim vision!  If this happens I will be seeing remarkably well during both full sunlight conditions and in dim light.  I will try to set a standard of measuring my vision at night in my house with a set number of lights on.  With this, hopefully I will show an improvement in the progress of my dim vision and eventually see a closer correlation with my full sunlight progress.