In order to maintain a healthy physique after you've work it to the max, you have to feed it correctly. You have to make sure that you're taking in the correct amount of vitamins and minerals to help you maintain a healthy system.I know many of you wonder what type of vitamins you should be consuming and how much. Well, that's just what I'm going to talk to you about in the next few issues. We'll cover a few of the vitamins each issue and discuss what they are and how they work in the body. Hopefully, you'll get an understanding of how they affect your body. Let's get started.

The first vitamin that we'll be covering is vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a vital role in the eye's function, and prevents or sometimes cures night blindness. However, only one-thousandth of the Vitamin A in our bodies is in the retina of the eye. The rest is in the blood stream, most body tissues and stored in the liver.

Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and the inside surfaces of the mucous membranes-the linings of the mouth, lungs, stomach, intestines, and urinary tract. It play a role in the body's immunity reactions. It is involved in the growth of bones; maintains the stability of the cell membranes; helps manufacture red blood cells and maintain nerve cell sheaths; prevents some forms of impotence; helps ensure a normal output of thyroxin from the thyroid gland, and more.

The body converts carotenes from plant sources into vitamin A. Carotenes are found primarily in vegetables of the yellow-orange-red color and where there is the dark green pigment chlorophyll that masks the orange color. When the body gets more than it needs from plant sources, it will slow down its conversion of the vitamin, so you cannot overdose on vitamin A from plants.

However, when the body gets vitamin A from animal sources, it has already been converted and the body will take it all in and store it. Because it is fat soluble, excess amounts are not routinely flushed out of the system by the kidneys. There is a lot of discussion about overdosing on A which I will not repeat here, but basically you really have to work hard to overdose on this vitamin from food. It would most likely happen from taking supplements or eating something like polar bear liver. Toxicity from supplements has been reported at intake levels of only 10 times the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for one month.

USA RDA: Men-1000RE; Women-800 RE

RE = retinal equivalents

Food sources-
Vitamin A is widely distributed in dark green leafy or yellow-orange-red vegetables, and some fruits (apricots, cantaloupe, mango, papaya). It is present in fairly large quantities in liver, and many margarines and milks are fortified with vitamin A. It is also found in small amounts in fat tissue, egg yolks and cream.

That's the vitamin for the week. Next issue we will be discussing the B vitamins. I hope you're getting enough carrots and liver in your diet motivators. Until next issue, stay pumped, stay motivated and OO-RAH!

Semper Fi!