11Vitamin A Food Sources
Vitamin A Food Sources

The rain was coming down in sheets, drenching the city in a deluge of water. Dr. Nicolle sat at her desk, poring over her patient’s charts, her eyes heavy with exhaustion.


Suddenly, the phone rang, breaking the silence of her dimly-lit office.


“Hello?” she answered, her voice betraying her fatigue.


“Dr. Nicolle, it’s Mr. Johnson. I need to talk to you about my diabetes. I just can’t seem to get it under control.”


Dr. Nicolle sat up straighter in her chair, her professional instincts kicking in. “Of course, Mr. Johnson. Let’s talk about what’s been going on.”


They talked for a while, discussing Mr. Johnson’s symptoms, his diet, and his exercise routine. But no matter what they tried, his blood sugar levels remained stubbornly high.


“Dr. Nicolle, I just don’t know what to do,” Mr. Johnson said, his voice heavy with despair.


Dr. Nicolle took a deep breath, trying to remain calm. “There is something else we can try,” she said. “It’s not a cure, but it can help support your immune system and prevent complications.”


“What is it?” Mr. Johnson asked eagerly.


“Vitamin A,” Dr. Nicolle replied. “It’s essential for a healthy immune system, and it can even help improve insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.”


Mr. Johnson listened intently as Dr. Nicolle went on to explain how vitamin A can help reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system’s natural defenses.


“Thank you, Dr. Nicolle,” Mr. Johnson said, his voice filled with hope. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get my diabetes under control.”


As Dr. Nicolle hung up the phone, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction. Helping people like Mr. Johnson was why she became a doctor in the first place. And with the right knowledge and the right tools, she knew she could make a real difference in the lives of her patients.


Continue reading below…

Female doctor holding paper with text VITAMIN A and pills on light background

Diabetes immune system management is a critical aspect of overall health for individuals with type 2 diabetes. A compromised immune system can leave diabetics more susceptible to infectious diseases and other complications. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of vitamin A in supporting the immune system, as well as functional medicine approaches to diabetes management.


We will delve into various food sources rich in vitamin A and discuss how identifying root causes of diabetes can help create a personalized treatment plan. Additionally, you’ll learn about our Blood Sugar Support Bundle that offers essential supplements for optimal health.


Lastly, we will emphasize the significance of monitoring your progress through regular testing to ensure you are on track towards better control over your diabetes, your immune system, and your overall wellbeing.


Vitamin A for a healthy immune system, If You’re Diabetic Get Plenty of Vitamin A for a Healthy Immune System, Dr. Nicolle

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Vitamin A: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Vitamin A, a kind of vitamin that may be stored in fat, can be found in a wide variety of meals. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyesight, immunological function, and reproduction. The health of the heart, lungs, and kidneys are all improved by vitamin A’s presence in the body.


Vitamin A comes in two forms. Preformed vitamin A is the form found in animal products such meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. Provitamin A is another form of vitamin that grows naturally in plant foods. Beta-carotene is the most frequent form of provitamin A found in food and nutritional supplements.


How Much Vitamin A Do I Need?

 Vitamin A requirements fluctuate with age and sex. The following table displays the daily retinol activity equivalent (RAE) recommendations in micrograms (mcg).


Life StageRecommended Amount
Birth to 6 months400 mcg RAE
Infants 7–12 months500 mcg RAE
Children 1–3 years300 mcg RAE
Children 4–8 years400 mcg RAE
Children 9–13 years600 mcg RAE
Teen boys 14–18 years900 mcg RAE
Teen girls 14–18 years700 mcg RAE
Adult men900 mcg RAE
Adult women700 mcg RAE
Pregnant teens750 mcg RAE
Pregnant women770 mcg RAE
Breastfeeding teens1,200 mcg RAE
Breastfeeding women1,300 mcg RAE

Vitamin A is often overlooked when compared to vitamin C and D, but it has a lot of health benefits that you could be missing out on. One thing that vitamin A does for your immune system is that it helps you maintain healthy mucus.


While it does seem gross, and though you might not have known it, the mucus in your nose and throat is actually your body’s first line of defense against viruses. It’s meant to catch anything that’s not supposed to be there, which is why your body produces more of it when you get sick.


The Importance of Vitamin A for Diabetics

When it comes to managing diabetes, ensuring a healthy immune system is critical. One essential nutrient that plays a significant role in supporting your immunity is vitamin A. In this section, we’ll explore the functions of vitamin A in the immune system and identify some food sources rich in this vital nutrient.


Functions of Vitamin A in the Immune System

Vitamin A has numerous roles within our body’s defense mechanisms. Some key functions include:


  • Maintaining mucosal barriers: Our body’s first line of defense against infections are the mucous membranes lining our respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary tracts. Vitamin A helps maintain these barriers by promoting cell growth and differentiation.
  • Supporting white blood cells: White blood cells (WBCs) play an essential role in fighting off infections and keeping us healthy. Vitamin A aids WBC production and function while also enhancing their ability to respond to pathogens effectively.
  • Promoting anti-inflammatory responses: Chronic inflammation can be detrimental to overall health – especially for diabetics who may already have compromised immune systems due to high blood sugar levels. By regulating inflammatory responses, vitamin A can help reduce inflammation-related complications associated with diabetes.

Vitamin A food sources with carrots, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, bell pepper, pumpkin, supplements

Food Sources Rich in Vitamin A

For individuals with diabetes or seeking to improve their immunity, discovering ways to increase intake of vitamin-A-rich foods can be hugely beneficial. Here are some excellent sources you might consider adding to your meals:


  1. Carrots: These crunchy, delicious vegetables are an excellent source of beta-carotene – a precursor to vitamin A. Plus, they’re versatile and can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various dishes.
  2. Sweet potatoes: Packed with nutrients and fiber, sweet potatoes not only provide ample amounts of vitamin A but also help regulate blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index.
  3. Spinach: This leafy green is another fantastic source of beta-carotene. It’s easy to incorporate into salads, smoothies, or even as a side dish for dinner.
  4. Cantaloupe can provide a cool, vitamin A-rich boost to your summer meals when added to salads or enjoyed on its own.
  5. Fish liver oil: Cod liver oil and other fish liver oils are rich sources of preformed vitamin A (retinol). 

Before adding vitamin A supplements to your routine, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider – especially if you have diabetes or other health conditions that require dietary considerations.


Can vitamin A be harmful?

Yes, excessive amounts of some types of vitamin A can be dangerous.


Dizziness, nausea, migraines, coma, and even death have all been linked to taking excessive amounts of preformed vitamin A, which may be found in supplements and some drugs. Pregnant women who consume large amounts of preformed vitamin A may also be at risk for having children born with abnormalities. High dosages of vitamin A supplements are not recommended for women who may become pregnant.


The skin may develop a harmless shade of yellow-orange if an individual consumes excessive amounts of beta-carotene or another type of provitamin A. Beta-carotene does not have the same adverse consequences as excessive preformed vitamin A, such as causing birth abnormalities.


Below are the utmost recommended daily allowances for preformed vitamin A. People who are taking vitamin A on a doctor’s recommendation for medicinal purposes are exempt from these limits. No safe upper limits have been determined for beta-carotene or other provitamin A compounds.


AgesUpper Limit
Birth to 12 months600 mcg
Children 1–3 years600 mcg
Children 4–8 years900 mcg
Children 9–13 years1,700 mcg
Teens 14–18 years2,800 mcg
Adults 19 years and older3,000 mcg

In addition to incorporating more foods high in vitamin A into your diet, you might consider taking advantage of functional medicine approaches like those offered by Dr. Nicolle MD. Through personalized treatment plans focused on addressing root causes and balancing nutrient intake using integrative therapies and lifestyle changes (including vitamin A supplementation, when necessary), you can take control of your health and minimize the use of medications.


Remember, though: it’s always essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or supplement regimen. 


Incorporating more vitamin-A-rich foods into your daily routine can be an excellent way to support immune function and overall health – particularly for those managing diabetes. By understanding the role this nutrient plays in our body’s defense mechanisms and identifying delicious sources you enjoy eating regularly, you’ll be well on your way toward a healthier lifestyle.


Vitamin A has an essential part to play in the immune system of those with diabetes, and by consuming it as part of their diet they can help bolster immunity. By using a functional medicine approach to diabetes management, we are able to identify root causes and balance nutrients for optimal health outcomes.


Key Thought: 

To support immune function and overall health for those managing diabetes, incorporating vitamin-A-rich foods into their diet is critical. Vitamin A plays a significant role in maintaining mucosal barriers, supporting white blood cells, and promoting anti-inflammatory responses. Excellent sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, and fish liver oil supplements (with caution). However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to the diet or supplement regimen – especially for individuals living with chronic conditions like diabetes who may require specialized care and monitoring.

Functional Medicine Approach to Diabetes Management

Consider exploring a more holistic approach to managing your diabetes through functional medicine. Functional medicine is an integrative way of addressing chronic diseases like diabetes by focusing on identifying root causes, balancing nutrients in the body, and promoting overall well-being through lifestyle changes. In this section, we’ll dive into how functional medicine can help you take control of your health and manage diabetes effectively.


Identifying Root Causes of Diabetes

The first step in any functional medicine treatment plan is getting to the bottom of what’s causing your symptoms. With diabetes, there are several potential factors that could be contributing to high blood sugar levels:


  • Poor diet: Consuming processed foods high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats can lead to insulin resistance over time.
  • Lack of physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle makes it difficult for your body to use insulin properly.
  • Stress: Chronic stress has been linked with higher blood sugar levels due to increased cortisol production.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders can affect insulin sensitivity.

A functional medicine practitioner will work closely with you using comprehensive testing methods such as advanced blood panels or genetic testing to identify these underlying issues so they can be addressed accordingly.


Balancing Nutrients with Functional Medicine

Once the root causes of your diabetes have been identified, it’s time to work on balancing nutrients in your body. This is where functional medicine truly shines – by providing personalized dietary recommendations and supplementation plans based on your unique needs.


A well-balanced diet for diabetics should include:


Vitamin A food sources with carrots, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables


In addition to a balanced diet plan tailored specifically for you by our team at Dr. Nicolle MD, certain supplements may be recommended as part of your treatment plan. For example, other beneficial supplements for diabetics might include magnesium or vitamin D.


It’s important to note that supplements should never replace a healthy diet, but rather complement it. Always consult with your healthcare provider or functional medicine practitioner before starting any new supplement regimen.


Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes Management

Beyond nutrition and supplementation, functional medicine also emphasizes the importance of lifestyle changes in managing diabetes effectively. Here are some key areas to focus on:


  1. Physical activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week (e.g., brisk walking), along with resistance training exercises like weight lifting or yoga twice weekly.
  2. Sleep hygiene: Prioritize getting seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night by establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating an environment conducive to restful slumber.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling into your daily life.

Taking charge of your health through these lifestyle modifications can not only help you manage diabetes more effectively but also prevent complications associated with the condition – such as heart disease or kidney damage – down the line. Remember: It’s never too late to start making positive changes.


A Supportive Community Matters

Last but certainly not least, having a supportive community around you is crucial when embarking on this journey towards better health. Whether it’s friends who share similar goals, family members cheering you on from afar, or our team here at Dr. Nicolle MD providing personalized guidance and encouragement, don’t underestimate the power of a strong support system in helping you achieve your health goals.


The Functional Medicine approach to diabetes management helps identify the root causes of diabetes and balance nutrients for optimal health. With this in mind, let’s look at a Blood Sugar Support Bundle that can help further support your journey towards better health.


Key Thought: 

Functional medicine offers a holistic approach to managing diabetes by identifying root causes, balancing nutrients in the body, and promoting overall well-being through lifestyle changes. A functional medicine practitioner can help identify underlying issues such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, stress or hormonal imbalances, and provide personalized dietary recommendations and supplementation plans based on your unique needs. Taking charge of your health through these lifestyle modifications can not only help you manage diabetes more effectively but also prevent complications associated with the condition down the line.

Blood Sugar Support Bundle for Optimal Health

Ensuring proper intake of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics is vital for diabetics as it helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels while reducing inflammation. The Blood Sugar Support Bundle provides an effective combination of these essential nutrients that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine to promote optimal health.


Components included in the Blood Sugar Support Bundle

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties which may benefit those with diabetes by improving cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation associated with high blood sugar levels.
  • Probiotics: A healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall health, and research suggests that certain strains of probiotics may help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. Including a high-quality probiotic supplement can support digestive health and promote balanced blood sugar levels.
  • Berberine: This natural plant compound has been shown to have potent anti-diabetic effects by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing glucose production in the liver. Berberine supplementation can be an effective addition to your diabetes management plan.

Blood Sugar Support Bundle

Benefits associated with each supplement

The Blood Sugar Support Bundle offers numerous benefits for those looking to manage their diabetes effectively. Here are some advantages you can expect from incorporating these supplements into your daily routine:


  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids may help alleviate symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy and protect against cardiovascular complications. Additionally, they have been shown to improve lipid profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
  2. Probiotics: A healthy gut microbiome plays a significant role in overall well-being, including immune function and mental health. By supporting digestive health through probiotic supplementation, you may experience improved blood sugar control as well as enhanced nutrient absorption from your diet.
  3. Berberine: This powerful plant compound has been found to be effective at lowering fasting glucose levels and improving insulin resistance – making it an excellent addition to any diabetes management plan. Berberine’s benefits extend beyond blood sugar regulation; it also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that support overall wellness.

Incorporating the Blood Sugar Support Bundle into your daily routine can provide numerous benefits for managing type 2 diabetes effectively while promoting optimal health. Don’t let busy schedules or nutrient deficiencies stand in the way of your well-being – take control today with this comprehensive supplement bundle.


The Blood Sugar Support Bundle for Optimal Health is a great way to take control of your health and minimize the use of medications. With regular testing, you can monitor your progress and make sure that all components are working together in harmony towards achieving optimal health.


Key Thought: 

The Blood Sugar Support Bundle is a combination of essential nutrients that can help diabetics maintain balanced blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. It includes a omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and berberine – all with their own unique benefits for managing diabetes effectively while promoting overall health. Incorporating this bundle into your daily routine can fill nutritional gaps and support proper insulin sensitivity for optimal well-being.

If you would like to receive a free resource sheet to help you take control of diabetes, click the button below to receive your gift.


Vitamin A for a healthy immune system, If You’re Diabetic Get Plenty of Vitamin A for a Healthy Immune System, Dr. Nicolle


Tools For Diabetes Prevention and Monitoring

Blood Sugar Monitoring

As you know, I always stress the importance of taking control of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the best ways to do this. To do this, a single drop of blood is collected with disposable lancets and placed on a disposable test strip, which you insert into a home blood-sugar monitoring device, called a glucometer.


The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up (fasting), before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime; however, you should check your blood sugar as many times a day as your health care team suggests.


Monitoring your blood sugar level provides you and your doctors with important knowledge about how food, activity, medication, stress, and other elements might affect your blood sugar levels. This data will assist you and your doctor in developing a therapy plan that is suited to your demands.


There are several types of blood glucose meters, lancets, and test strips to choose from. I often recommend this glucometer, lancets, and test strips.


Weight Monitoring

Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases such as diabetes, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).


Physical Activity

Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity actually improves insulin sensitivity. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.


I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.



Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.


Resistance Training

Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.


Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.

Vitamin A for a healthy immune system, If You’re Diabetic Get Plenty of Vitamin A for a Healthy Immune System, Dr. Nicolle


Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet and regular physical activity are the best ways to prevent diabetes.


The Diabetes Meal Plan is geared towards those people with diabetes or prediabetes. The foods are moderately low in carbs, low glycemic, fiber rich, and contain a balance of nutrients to help prevent blood sugar spikes and dips. Foods are also included that may help to lower blood sugar.


Cous Cous Turkey Power Bowl

Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.

If You’re Diabetic Get Plenty of Vitamin A for a Healthy Immune System FAQs

The immune system plays a crucial role in the development of type 1 diabetes, as it mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation caused by an overactive immune response can lead to insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism. Maintaining a healthy immune system is essential for managing both types of diabetes.

People with poorly controlled diabetes may experience a weakened immune system due to high blood sugar levels impairing white blood cell function. This can increase susceptibility to infections and delay wound healing. Proper management of blood sugar levels helps maintain optimal immunity in individuals with diabetes.

Diabetes does not directly decrease your immune system; rather, it affects its functionality depending on how well your condition is managed. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels weaken your immunity, while maintaining proper glycemic control supports normal functioning of the body’s defense mechanisms against pathogens.

Type 1 Diabetes results from an autoimmune disorder where the body’s own T-cells attack and destroy pancreatic beta cells responsible for producing insulin. This leads to insufficient insulin production causing elevated blood glucose levels that require external sources like injections or pumps for regulation.

Final Thoughts

Managing diabetes requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of the disease and supports overall health. Vitamin A plays an important role in supporting the immune system, which is especially important for those with diabetes. Eating foods containing Vitamin A may assist in strengthening the immune system and optimizing wellbeing.


A functional medicine approach to managing diabetes involves identifying underlying imbalances and addressing them through targeted nutrition and lifestyle changes. The Blood Sugar Support Bundle includes supplements that can help balance blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and support healthy digestion.


For a more comprehensive approach to managing diabetes, Dr. Nicolle Martin-Howard at DrNicolleMD provides personalized care with a functional medicine approach. She offers personalized care using a functional medicine approach to address the root causes of chronic diseases like diabetes.

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Last updated on May 11th, 2023 at 12:21 am

Vitamin A for a healthy immune system, If You’re Diabetic Get Plenty of Vitamin A for a Healthy Immune System, Dr. Nicolle

Minimize Medications. Maximize Health.

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