Vitamin A: Why This Deficiency Matters for Patients of IV Therapy in Toronto

We’ve heard plenty about taking vitamin therapies, such as vitamin B complex and vitamin C for optimal functioning. But what about vitamin A? To many people’s disbelief, vitamin A is necessary, especially for eye health. In fact, IV therapy Toronto patients may have already had discussions about this essential vitamin with naturopathic doctors.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a cluster of fat-soluble compounds called retinoids. Vitamin A should be considered due to its beneficial effects, such as:

  • Protecting eyesight
  • Maintaining optimal skin 
  • Promoting cell division and cellular functioning
  • Helping to prevent acne
  • Bone health support
  • Promoting white blood cell production
  • Supporting Immune function 
  • Promoting reproduction

A vitamin A deficiency is a concern in third-world countries. But surveys have shown that American adults “… are not meeting dietary requirements for vitamin A,” says Oregon State University. In particular, 51% of these adults surveyed consume less than the estimated average requirement for vitamin A. Canadian adults are also lacking this essential vitamin. Health Canada has reported that numerous Canadians are lacking vitamin A, vitamin D and calcium from their diet.

How much do you know about vitamin A? Learn about it below, then reach us to check your vitamin A levels and improve cellular functioning.

Vitamin A Facts for Toronto IV Therapy Patients

  • Vitamin A deficiency symptoms include: hair loss (alopecia), dry skin, night blindness, chronic diarrhea, and weakened immune function. 
  • The following patients are at risk of developing a deficiency: patients with cystic fibrosis; pregnant/breastfeeding women; babies and kids; those with inflammatory bowel disease or post-bariatric surgery; alcoholics.
  • Rumours were circulating that vitamin A added to topicals can cause cancer. However, this is false: “Vitamin A in topical creams is not absorbed into the bloodstream and therefore would not contribute to toxic levels,” confirms the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health.
  • If you’re deficient in zinc, get your vitamin A levels tested. A zinc deficiency can trigger vitamin A-deficiency symptoms, so a supplement with both zinc and vitamin A may be required.

Recommendations from Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctors

Do you think you need to increase your vitamin A intake? First, consult a Toronto health care practitioner or your family doctor. This is because consuming excessive vitamin A can cause birth defects, nausea, blurry vision, headache, pain and damage to the liver. Additionally, vitamin A supplements can interact with some medications (i.e. anticoagulants and retinoids).

Also, speak to a functional medicine naturopathic doctor about testing. For example, functional medicine clinic offers blood tests to pinpoint what you’re deficient in. Blood tests will also help us determine which beneficial ingredients to include for supporting your health needs.

After a thorough blood work review, you’ll learn from your health care practitioner how to elevate your vitamin A intake. This may include:

  • Dietary changes: Try cod liver oil, eggs, whole milk or 2% fat milk (read the labels to see if it includes vitamin A), baked sweet potato, raw carrots, cantaloupe, and cooked kale. Also, you’ve likely heard that carrots can assist with vision support. This is because beta-carotene in carrots is a vitamin-A precursor. So you can eat carotene-rich foods for vitamin A intake, such as mangoes, tomatoes, and leafy vegetables.
  • Oral vitamins: Please consult with your doctor before purchasing supplements; at our clinic, our naturopathic doctor recommends professional brands from a verified distributor so that patients can avoid preservatives or fillers. Therapeutic doses of vitamin A should also be discussed to accommodate your health regime.
  • Intravenous therapy/Vitamin IV drip: If you suffer from dysphagia or malabsorption, a vitamin cocktail with vitamin A may be suitable to correct deficiencies and promote blood cell formation. An infusion solution is inserted into the blood flow via an intravenous drip. The solution is then rapidly available in the body for nutrient absorption. This treatment doesn’t contact the digestive tract, so you’ll avoid uncomfortable side effects, such as nausea.

Vitamin A should be considered for vitamin treatments, including vitamin IV therapy – after all, it helps keep our blood cells healthy. Do you feel unsure about your vitamin A levels? Don’t hesitate to reach us! The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre can guide you on your journey towards optimal functioning.

How to Contact the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre

The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre can help you learn what you’re deficient in, and even if you’re sensitive to certain foods.

Our clinic of integrative medicine practitioners focuses on functional medicine and naturopathy. Our menu of infusion therapy/IV vitamin drip treatments includes beneficial ingredients such as vitamin A, and high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid), additional B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin D, Myers Cocktail, a medley of amino acids, and other key vitamins. Take note: an initial consultation is mandatory prior to your first intravenous infusion procedure.

The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre also treats these conditions and others: thyroid conditions, mineral deficiencies, high blood pressure, adrenal function, chronic fatigue, tissue repair, DNA repair, infertility, skin rejuvenation/skin vitality, and cellular damage.

Let’s find out if you’re lacking vitamin A – call the TFMC at (416) 968-6861 to reserve a consultation for functional medicine blood tests and IV therapy in Toronto.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

 

References:

Chakravarty I. Food-Based Strategies to Control Vitamin A Deficiency. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2000;21(2):135-143. doi:10.1177/156482650002100205

Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone?” Government of Canada, Health Canada, modified March 15, 2012, viewed on Dec. 13, 2021.

Hodge C, Taylor C. Vitamin A Deficiency. [Updated 2021 Jul 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK567744/

Micronutrient Facts” by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, reviewed June 28, 2021, viewed on December 3, 2021.

Micronutrient Inadequacies in the US Population: an Overview” Oregon State University, Reviewed in March 2018 by: Balz Frei, Ph.D., Former Director, Linus Pauling Institute, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, viewed on Dec. 13, 2021.

Vitamin A” by Oregon State University, reviewed in March 2015 by: Libo Tan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Nutrition The University of Alabama, viewed on Dec. 11, 2021.

Vitamin A” by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, viewed on Dec. 5, 2021.Vitamin A – Uses, Side Effects, and More” by WebMD, viewed on Dec. 14, 2021.