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Old 27-01-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
lu__
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Default Retinol supplementation.

Has anyone any experiences supplementing with real Vitamin A (not carotenes) ?

I'm looking to try some for a while, I'm wondering what brands people have tried and dosages and effects.

There doesn't seem to be much out there at quick glance, just a lot of palmitate and betacarotene.

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Old 27-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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What do you mean "real" vit a?.
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Old 27-01-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
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What do you mean "real" vit a?.
Retinol (I think), as opposed to beta carotene.
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Old 27-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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Retinol (I think), as opposed to beta carotene.
Retinol is the synthetic version in most vitamin supplements and in high doses over a long term period increases the risk of kidney, liver and eye problems and increases the risk of cancer. Vit a is fat soluble meaning the body can/does store it for a few days and any excess from retinol your body can't deal with. So stick to alpha and beta carotene from veg or buy a supplement of it and keep under the RDI
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Old 27-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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Retinol is the synthetic version in most vitamin supplements and in high doses over a long term period increases the risk of kidney, liver and eye problems and increases the risk of cancer. Vit a is fat soluble meaning the body can/does store it for a few days and any excess from retinol your body can't deal with. So stick to alpha and beta carotene from veg or buy a supplement of it and keep under the RDI
According to wikipedia:
"Retinol in turn is ingested in a precursor form; animal sources (liver and eggs) contain retinyl esters, whereas plants (carrots, spinach) contain pro-vitamin A carotenoids (these may also be considered simply vitamin A)."

So I guess it's a natural from of retinyl ester I'm after, I'm not convinced the conversion from carotenes is high enough to do much.
I'm not even sure if a natural retinyl ester supplement exists.
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Old 27-01-2013, 09:57 PM   #6
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According to wikipedia:
"Retinol in turn is ingested in a precursor form; animal sources (liver and eggs) contain retinyl esters, whereas plants (carrots, spinach) contain pro-vitamin A carotenoids (these may also be considered simply vitamin A)."

So I guess it's a natural from of retinyl ester I'm after, I'm not convinced the conversion from carotenes is high enough to do much.
I'm not even sure if a natural retinyl ester supplement exists.
Both alpha & beta are converted to vit a by the body. As long as you have a mixture of both from lots of different veg and take (the veg) with some fat (any kind) this will help your body absorb/use it. Most if not all the supplements of retinol are the synthetic type. Also too much of retinyl esters can cause hypervitaminosis a. That said too much of anything good can be bad for you even if its natural, so I wouldn't try and eat to much of it. Also its not about numbers its about how the body uses it. You don't need to take fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) every day as they are stored in the body and only used when needed but when you do you should take them with some fat. All the B vits as well as C are water soluble and need replacing daily (also C helps with iron absorption). So eating alpha/beta laden veg every day should be fine.
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Old 25-03-2017, 03:39 AM   #7
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Everything I've read says the wiki you guys quoted has it backwards. Retinol is the form of vitamin A that is used by the body and is found in meats. Liver is very high in retinol but cod liver oil is the highest. It can also be made in the lab artificially. I don't know for sure but I doubt the synthetic is the same thing as found in cod liver oil. Most synthetics differ slightly from their natural forms.

Carotene is not true vitamin A because it must be converted to retinol by the liver to be used by the body. If you look on the label though it claims that it is. But the very definition of a vitamin is a vital substance that the body can not live without. You can live without carotine but you can not live without retinol. Most vitamin A overdoses are from carotene. I recall reading I think from Weston Price that there are no fatal overdoses from retinol and that the polar explorers dying from eating polar bear liver is a myth. I've also read that carotene can not be converted properly into retenol by half the the population and can get stored by the body as a waste product and turn the skin orange.
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Old 26-03-2017, 03:22 AM   #8
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RESEARCHERS FIND POTENTIAL ‘DARK SIDE’ TO DIETS HIGH IN BETA-CAROTENE

COLUMBUS, Ohio - New research suggests that there could be health hazards associated with consuming excessive amounts of beta-carotene.

This antioxidant is a naturally occurring pigment that gives color to foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and certain greens. It also converts to vitamin A, and foods and supplements are the only sources for this essential nutrient.

But scientists at Ohio State University have found that certain molecules that derive from beta-carotene have an opposite effect in the body: They actually block some actions of vitamin A, which is critical to human vision, bone and skin health, metabolism and immune function.

Because these molecules derive from beta-carotene, researchers predict that a large amount of this antioxidant is accompanied by a larger amount of these anti-vitamin-A molecules, as well.
Earl Harrison

Vitamin A provides its health benefits by activating hundreds of genes. This means that if compounds contained in a typical source of the vitamin are actually lowering its activity instead of promoting its benefits, too much beta-carotene could paradoxically result in too little vitamin A.

The findings also might explain why, in a decades-old clinical trial, more people who were heavily supplemented with beta-carotene ended up with lung cancer than did research participants who took no beta-carotene at all. The trial was ended early because of that unexpected outcome.

The scientists aren’t recommending against eating foods high in beta-carotene, and they are continuing their studies to determine what environmental and biological conditions are most likely to lead to these molecules’ production.

“We determined that these compounds are in foods, they’re present under normal circumstances, and they’re pretty routinely found in blood in humans, and therefore they may represent a dark side of beta-carotene,” said Earl Harrison, Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Human Nutrition at Ohio State and lead author of the study. “These materials definitely have anti-vitamin-A properties, and they could basically disrupt or at least affect the whole body metabolism and action of vitamin A. But we have to study them further to know for sure.”

The study is scheduled for publication in the May 4, 2012, issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Previous research has already established that when beta-carotene is metabolized, it is broken in half by an enzyme, which produces two vitamin A molecules.

In this new study, the Ohio State researchers showed that some of these molecules are produced when beta-carotene is broken in a different place by processes that are not yet fully understood and act to antagonize vitamin A.

Harrison is an expert in the study of antioxidants called carotenoids, which give certain fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors. Carotenoids’ antioxidant properties are associated with protecting cells and regulating cell growth and death, all of which play a role in multiple disease processes.

For this work, he joined forces with co-authors Robert Curley, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, and Steven Schwartz, professor of food science and technology, both at Ohio State. Curley specializes in producing synthetic molecules in the pursuit of drug development, and Schwartz is an expert at carotenoid analysis.

Curley manufactured a series of beta-carotene-derived molecules in the lab that match those that exist in nature. The researchers then exposed these molecules to conditions mimicking their metabolism and action in the body.

Of the 11 synthetic molecules produced, five appeared to function as inhibitors of vitamin A action based on how they interacted with receptors that would normally launch the function of vitamin A molecules.

“The original idea was that maybe these compounds work the way vitamin A works, by activating what are called retinoic acid receptors. What we found was they don’t activate those receptors. Instead, they inhibit activation of the receptor by retinoic acid,” Curley said. “From a drug point of view, vitamin A would be called an agonist that activates a particular pathway, and these are antagonists. They compete for the site where the agonist binds, but they don’t activate the site. They inhibit the activation that would normally be expected to occur.”

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“These materials definitely have anti-vitamin-A properties, and they could basically disrupt or at least affect the whole body metabolism and action of vitamin A.”

Once that role was defined, the researchers sought to determine how prevalent these molecular components might be in the human body. Analyzing blood samples obtained from six healthy human volunteers, the scientists in the Schwartz lab found that some of these anti-vitamin-A molecules were present in every sample studied, suggesting that they are a common product of beta-carotene metabolism.

The compounds also have been found previously in cantaloupe and other orange-fleshed melons, suggesting humans might even absorb these molecules directly from their diet.

Harrison noted that the findings might explain the outcome of a well-known clinical trial that has left scientists puzzled for years. In that trial, people at high risk for lung cancer - smokers and asbestos workers - were given massive doses of beta-carotene over a long period of time in an attempt to lower that risk. The trial ended early because more supplemented participants developed cancer than did those who received no beta-carotene. This outcome was reinforced by results of a follow-up animal study.

“Those trials are still sending shockwaves 20 years later to the scientific community,” said Harrison, also an investigator in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “What we found provides a plausible explanation of why larger amounts of beta-carotene might have led to unexpected effects in these trials.”

The research also has implications for efforts to bio-engineer staple crops in developing countries so they contain excess beta-carotene, which is considered a sustainable way to provide these populations with pro-vitamin A. Existing projects include production of golden rice in Asia, golden maize in South America and cassava in Africa.

“A concern is that if you engineer these crops to have unusually high levels of beta-carotene, they might also have high levels of these compounds,” Harrison said.

The researchers are continuing to study these compounds, including whether food processing or specific biological processes affect their prevalence. Previous studies have suggested that oxidative stress, which can result from smoking and air pollution exposure, can lead to higher production of these anti-vitamin-A molecules, Harrison noted.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/betacarotene.htm
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