At Phelts Chiropractic PC in New York, NY, we recommend only the most effective supplements to our patients.  We often see signs of Vitamin A defieciency on the laboratory tests we order.  it is improtant to have a professional practitioner like Dr. John W Phelts DC analyze your results to make sure you get the correct form of Vitamin A for you, as you will see why below.  Even if another health practitioner ordered the labs, Dr. Phelts is willing to analyze the results as a second opinion.  Let's find out why Vitamin A is so important for your health.

Part of a family of substances called retinols, Vitamin A is important to our overall health and, specifically, our skin, immune system, and eyes.  Retimol is the form of Vaitamin A that our bodies can readily use.

There are primarily two sources of vitamin A.  One is from animals and the other plants.  Animal sources include eggs and organ meats like liver and kidney.  They contain retinol, which has a high bioavailability.  Plant sources contain carotenoids which are called pre-vitamin A, because they must be converted in the small intestine to retinol.  The body only converts 10% -12% of carotenoids to retinol, so they are not the best source.  The carotenoids that are not converted benefit us by acting as anioxidants in our bodies.  Our daily diet should include a mix of plant and animal-based foods.  

The following foods provide Vitamin A in its most readily available form; they are listed in each category according to their highest level of readily absorbable Vitamin A content. (This is not a complete list)

Meat and Fish
Beef Liver
Cod Liver Oil
King Mackerel

Sweet Potato
Winter Squash
Turnip Greens
Sweet Red Pepper


Goat Cheese
Roquefort Cheese

The daily recommendation of Vitamin A for children changes from birth through age 18, so it's best to check with Dr. Phelts before giving Vitamin A to a child. 

Even if you're eating a variety of organic, whole foods, it's possible you're not getting enough Vitamin A. Conditions of the digestive track including Chron's, gallbladdr and liver conditions, pancreatic enzyme deficiency, and cystic fibrosis, can impair the conversion.  Some people may have a genetic factor that doesn't allow them to convert Vitamin A. This is why some people have signs of Vitamin A deficeincy even though they are consuming plenty of orange and yellow friuts and vegetable.  Vitamin A deficiency that may show up as health conditions of the eyes, skin, or immune function.  

Vitamin A supplements are widely available but the purity and consistency of the supplement can vary. Some supplements will contain preformed Vitamin A; some will have beta carotenes, and some will contain a combination. Dosing Vitamin A is highly individualized and because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can accumulate to toxic levels in the body. Women who are of childbearing age or pregnant should be under a physician's care if taking Vitamin A. As always, speak to Dr. Phelts about the best form and dose of a Vitamin A supplement for your needs.

If you would like an analysis of your blood work and an alternative method of improving your health, give us a call (212-286-2012).  We use Science Based Nutrition and  Applied Kinesiology (AK) to put you on the road to health.  We are located two blocks from Grand Central station in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes.  We also do consultations by phone.


Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ. Nutrients for the aging eye. Clin Interv Aging. (2013) 8:741-8.

Vitamin A Fact Sheet For Health Professionals:

The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 142, Issue 1, 1 January 2012, Pages 161S–165S, "20 Foods that are High in Vitamin A"

May 08, 2019