I am sharing this information in an effort to help all those MDs and RDs that have noticed and shared their questions regarding the high vitamin A content of Liquid Hope. This issue is our absolute number one question or concern regarding both Liquid Hope and Nourish nutritional properties.
Liquid Hope and Nourish contain a variety of organic vegetables. These brightly colored vegetables are very rich in pigments known as carotenoids. Beta carotene is just one of these pigments, with alpha carotene and lutein being other major constituents of those carotenoids found in Liquid Hope and Nourish.
These pigments are not vitamin A. These are pre-vitamin A molecules that require conversion to retinol or vitamin A. This conversion is not efficient. In fact, for every mcg of beta carotene, the coefficient of conversion is 0.05!
Another example is the radically different RDAs for vitamin A, depending upon the source. The US RDA for retinol is 9000 mcg for adult males for example, if sourced from preformed vitamin A, but is 18,000 IUs if from carotenoids sourced from food and not supplements.
It is critical to understand that all carotenoids are assigned a Retinol Activity Equivalent or RAE as an estimate to how much of our vitamin A physiological requirement they can meet. This is very different than their actual retinol conversion, which again is very inefficient and low, overall, and is incapable of producing vitamin A toxicity.
A 355mL pouch of our Liquid Hope for instance, contains over 5,067 IUs of carotenoids, again from a variety of vegetable sources. This is roughly 28.2% of the US RDA in terms of retinol equivalency or 253.4 Retinol Activity Equivalents. Unfortunately, too many individuals read the nutrition label and see the vitamin A content without understanding that it is completely from plant sources, with no preformed vitamin A content.
Additionally, there are so many other factors that can further influence this conversion. Please see the below American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on this area of nutrient conversion and human metabolism:
Even the NIH acknowledges that there are no concerns with carotenoid consumption from foods, such as with whole-food products like Liquid Hope and Nourish:
"Unlike preformed vitamin A, beta-carotene is not known to be teratogenic or lead to reproductive toxicity . And even large supplemental doses (20–30 mg/day) of beta-carotene or diets with high levels of carotenoid-rich food for long periods are not associated with toxicity. The most significant effect of long-term, excess beta-carotene is carotenodermia, a harmless condition in which the skin becomes yellow-orange [1,24]. This condition can be reversed by discontinuing beta-carotene ingestion." Please find this and other helpful information at the NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements:
John Bagnulo MPH, PhD. - Director of Nutrition