I strongly suspect that many people live their lives with subclinical infections as evidenced by continuous coughing and/or spitting up corrupt mucus. Really, vitamins A, C, and D should be called vitamin ACD as all are vital in the fight against infection. Most people, maybe as high as 80 percent, are short in vitamin A.

The prevalence of night blindness and the common cold gives convincing evidence of this deficiency. And studies have shown that the older we are the less store of vitamin A we have in our livers, which is where about 90 percent of our vitamin A stores are found.

We do not “catch” colds or so-called virus infections. We develop colds and infections from nutritional deficiencies. Millions of seniors line up each year for “flu shots.” I have never quite understood how a vaccine could substitute for nutritional deficiency. The government is very interested in us getting our flu shots, and most do. All you need is vitamin ACD!

Vitamin A is not very stable. Since it is easily destroyed by heat and we cook almost everything, we don’t get nearly enough vitamin A. Researchers have also concluded that pesticides and other environmental factors inhibit our body’s ability to use vitamin A. Alcohol use, medications and any medical condition that interferes with the body’s digestion of fat also contribute to deficiency. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and needs fat to be transported to the body’s tissues.

When we speak about any vitamin, we are not considering isolated or purified synthetics. We always refer to the whole natural complex.

There are two categories of vitamin A: retinoids and carotenoids – a pre-vitamin A which must be converted by the body.

So we may consume a generous amount of vitamin A and plants that contain carotenoids and still have low body levels. And many people living off low-fat diets are purposefully avoiding the very foods that provide the bioavailable forms of vitamin A – retinoids — found in animal foods like liver and eggs, and avoiding the essential medium (fat) that delivers nutrients to the body. A low-fat diet is doubly dangerous in this regard.

Carotenoids are found in plant foods and are water soluble, but healthy fats are needed to convert them to bioavailable retinoids.

Any liver function impairment defeats the body’s ability to secure an adequate intake. Carotene (pro-vitamin A), as found in raw carrots, is much more efficient in raising the body’s level of vitamin A than fish liver oils. Carotene as found in carrots can be stored in the liver in quantity while only a small quantity of true vitamin A can be stored. It follows that most of our consumption should be in the form of pro-vitamin A or carotene. Individuals who can maintain a high vitamin A level in the body are extremely resistant to colds. Vitamin A in the form of carotene is much more effective.

Does your doctor hound you about cholesterol? Then you’ll be happy to know vitamin A appears to reduce cholesterol levels. One writer said that the relationship of vitamin A consumption and cholesterol levels is so constant that this serves as an index of the level of vitamin A in the body.

And again, vitamin A levels run parallel to the incidence of night blindness and the tendency to develop colds and infections. It is also my strong opinion based on my research that vitamin A (pro-vitamin A carotenoids) is very important as an anti-cancer nutrient, especially in the form of cruciferous vegetables; i.e., carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli and the green raw foods in general.

Adequate vitamin A with calcium lactate is the missing diagnosis in the cause of colds and infection that should be included with whole complex vitamin C and vitamin D (calciferol).

Major sources of bioavailable vitamin A (retinoids) include:

  • Pasture-raised beef or duck liver
  • Organic eggs
  • Raw whole milk, heavy cream, organic butter and cheese from grass-fed or free-range cows
  • Shrimp
  • Wild-caught salmon and tuna.

Sources of pro-vitamin A carotenoids include:

  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, lettuce)
  • Squash (especially butternut)
  • Dried apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet peppers
  • Tropical fruits (mango and papaya).

I follow Dr. Max Gerson’s advice to drink fresh raw carrot juice, the alkalizing and sickness-defeating secret he used to save many “terminal” cancer patients. What did he know? That carrot juice has great value because it supplies vitamin A so necessary for health and vitality.

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