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Avocados May Help With Vitamin A Absorption

Vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections. A recent study suggests that avocados - which are rich in lipids - may help with the absorption of vitamin A from beta-carotene rich foods.

Participants in the two-part study included 12 healthy men and women. For the first study, the participants were given a meal with beta-carotene rich tomato sauce and then a second meal that included the tomato sauce, plus 150 g of avocado. The researchers found that the addition of avocado increased beta-carotene absorption by 2.4 times and increased the conversion of provitamin A to vitamin A by 4.6 times.

In the second study, the same process was followed but with raw carrot taking the place of the tomato sauce. They found that the avocado consumption was associated with a 6.6 times increase in beta-carotene absorption, a 4.8 times increase in alpha-carotene absorption, and a 12.6 times increase of conversion from provitamin A to vitamin A.

A provitamin is a substance that may be converted within the body to a vitamin by normal metabolic substances.

Researchers from Ohio State University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 4, 2014,in Journal of Nutrition.

Vitamin A has been shown to improve diarrhea and the symptoms of respiratory disease, and to reduce the risk of measles. People who are deficient in vitamin A are also at risk for vision problems and many chronic diseases.

This essential vitamin can be found in beef liver, egg yolk, cheddar cheese, and fortified milk. If you think you’re not getting enough of these foods in your daily diet, try a high quality supplement.

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