Coronavirus and the immune system have dominated the news in 2020. Fortunately, most of us did not get infected with COVID-19 and stayed healthy this year. Eating a healthy diet and keeping a moderate exercise routine like walking, biking and swimming can keep our immune system in good working order all year long.  Keeping the immune system in shape can help us fight global pandemics as well as the common cold, flu and other communal illnesses.

The immune system not only fights viral, bacterial, fungus and other pathogens, it also works to find things in the body that may not look right, things like undigested food. When the immune system is activated, it causes inflammation and calls in the immune system to attack. When the immune system starts attacking things it should not in the body, we label this an autoimmune condition. In patients with coronavirus, we witnessed people who had their immune system over activated in something called a “cytokine storm.” This happens when the immune system keeps releasing cytokines that cause inflammation resulting in a super overactivation of the immune system.  In so far as the immune system is concerned, balance is of the utmost importance.

One of the vitamins which can help the immune system stay in balance is vitamin A.  Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for vision, epithelial integrity of inner layers of the lungs, bladder, and Gi tracts, bone growth and immunity. Vitamin A also plays a role in how your genes are expressed.

In the immune system, vitamin A plays a key role in releasing certain immune factors that can reduce the viruses and bacteria.  However, some research has shown that too much vitamin A might lead to an overactivation of the immune system.

That’s why it is always best to get your vitamins from whole foods so the body can get the dose and the type of vitamins that it can easily process.

Vitamin A Cheat Sheet for Good Health

Vitamin A Foods:

  • Baked sweet potato
  • Raw carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tuna
  • Greens like spinach

Vitamin A Benefits:

  • Optimizes immune function
  • Better Vision
  • Needed for Reproduction
  • Cellular growth and communication

Vitamin A deficiency:

  • Severe eye dryness
  • Dry skin or hair
  • Night blindness

Vitamin A deficiency Risks:

  • Fat malabsorption
  • Liver disorders

Vitamin A recommended Dosage:

  • Men: 900 mcg
  • Women: 700 mcg

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