Monday, April 20, 2009

Vitamin A in Cod Liver Oil

Recently, we have been able to cut back on vitamins since we began cod liver oil. It contains natural Vitamin A, that your body doesn't need to convert to use. I found this explanation for how Vitamin A promotes a healthy intestinal surface in rats on a document from a yahoo group about improving thyroid function. It might not mean anything to some readers. But basically restoring vitamin A levels regenerates the villi in rats, which allows them to absorb more nutrients. In addition, Vitamin A supplemenation tightens up the gaps between the villi which allow the proteins to get through. It you look at the BEFORE PICTURE (labelled VAD--Vitamin A deficient) you can see the villi are flat and the gaps are large. If you look at the AFTER PICTURE (labelled VASUP--Vitamin A supplemented) you can see how the gaps are smaller and the villi are regrown. For anyone with celiac, gluten intolerance or allergies the implications for this treatment are worth looking into.

"The intestinal villi in the upper left picture (VAD) are from Vitamin A deficient rats. The villi in the lower left (VAS) are from Vitamin A sufficient rats. The villi in the lower right (VASUP) are from rats given extra supplemental Vitamin A. The villi become short and thick when the rat is deficient in Vitamin A, impairing nutrient absorption. (Source: Zaiger G, Nur T, Barshak I, Berkovich Z, Goldberg I, Reifen R. Vitamin A exerts its activity at the transcription level in the small intestine. Eur J Nutr (2004) 43:259-266.)"
Related posts:
Cod Liver Oil
Omega 3's in Fish Oil
The Importance of Fat in Brain Development and Function