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Vitamin A More Important Than Previously Thought

It has been known for nearly 100 years that vitamin A deficiency causes numerous diseases, but the reason for this was unknown. Researchers from the from the Institute for Cancer Research, New York may have finally solved this century old mystery.

Their findings were published in the March 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal.

The researchers found that vitamin A deficiency affects the synthesis of ATP in our cells. ATP is a nucleotide that is essential for proper function of mitochondria, the power-plant of our cells. Mitochondria take in nutrients, break them down and create energy for the cell.

The researchers found that vitamin A deficiency reduces energy production of mitochondria by 30%. To compensate for this reduction, the body turns to fat reserves in order to create energy through fat oxidation, which can have a weakening effect on the body.

Beyond keeping our cells energized and healthy, vitamin A is essential for avoiding numerous chronic diseases as well as for both skin and eye health.

Vitamin A can be found in supplement form, however you can get plenty of vitamin A through diet alone. Some of the top sources of vitamin A include:

Beef liver

Egg yolk

Cheddar cheese

Fortified milk

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