Every male who wants high testosterone needs a good amount of vitamin A.
Vitamin A has been shown to increase testosterone and dopamine sensitivity, lower excess cortisol and prolactin and just make you feel good.
Vitamin A on LH
Increased LH/testosterone ratios, both in basal levels and in the secretory response to GnRH, suggested Leydig cell hyporesponsiveness in VAD animals.
Vitamin A increases testosterone by restoring Leydig's sensitivity to LH. pic.twitter.com/InpiDJkHcS— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 9, 2023
Vitamin A on Testosterone
Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is the first rate-limited enzyme in testosterone production. It transports cholesterol into the mitochondria of the Leydig cells, where it’s converted to pregnenolone by P450scc.
Vitamin A promotes both those enzymes, not just in the testes, but also adrenals, glial (brain cells) and epidermal cells (skin cells) (R).
Phosphorylation of StAR, especially at Ser194 (a specific amino acid position on the enzyme), has been demonstrated to be indispensable to obtaining the maximal cholesterol-transferring activity of StAR for steroid biosynthesis. Vitamin A is involved in phosphorylation at that position, thus upregulating StAR.
Removing the vitamin A receptor, RXRα, in animals result in ~50% decreases in StAR expression and steroid biosynthesis.
The skin, also a highly androgenic organ, requires vitamin A to produce hormones, such as testosterone. In elderly and diseased individuals, StAR mRNA is decreased and subsequently testosterone. Providing vitamin A helps to restore skin StAR and androgen production (R).
Animals consuming a retinol-deficient diet got testicular shrinkage (R).
Vitamin A could regulate Leydig cell differentiation, converting progenitor Leydig cells into functional Leydig cells (R). Meaning, more functional Leydig cells are produced with adequate vitamin A.
Retinol is such a powerful testosterone and growth promoter, that when vitamin A and iron are given during puberty to short-stature boys, they have the same growth results as when given testosterone oxandrolone (a steroid) after 12 months (R).
Vitamin A on cortisol
Although cortisol has many useful functions, too much is not a good thing. Especially when elevated chronically.
Cortisol is deactivated by 11β-HSD2 (using NAD+) to cortisone. On the flip side, cortisone is converted to active cortisol by 11β-HSD1.
Vitamin A can help to lower excess cortisol by reducing 11β-HSD1 activity (R, R). 11β-HSD1 becomes upregulated with age and disease and contributes to anxiety, depression, fatty liver, insulin resistance, muscle wasting, Alzheimer’s disease, etc, etc. So vitamin A helps to control cortisol as we age and especially during stressful conditions.
Vitamin A can help to lower excess cortisol by reducing 11β-HSD1 activity. pic.twitter.com/OfCgjONYyO— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 9, 2023
Vitamin A is thus very helpful for stress management.
Vitamin A on thyroid hormones
Vitamin A improves thyroid hormone function and hormone production.
Low vitamin A can lead to subclinical hypothyroidism and even goiter.
Vitamin A deficiency interfered with the pituitary-thyroid axis by:
- Increasing the synthesis and secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) by the pituitary gland
- Increasing the size of the thyroid gland
- Reducing iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and aggravating thyroid dysfunction caused by iodine-deficient diets (R)
- Impairing the synthesis and iodination of thyroglobulin (precursor to thyroid hormones)
- Impairing conversion of T4 into T3 (R)
…thus leading to hypothyroidism.
What is subclinical hypothyroidism? Most of the time hypothyroidism is defined by your TSH level and optimal TSH is between 0.3 and 2.5 mIU/l (R). So anything over 2.5 and under 4 is subclinical hypothyroidism. A TSH over 4 (together with low T4) is classified as hypothyroidism.
Vitamin A can help with that.
In this study, 25,000 IU/d retinyl palmitate for 4 months decreased TSH and T4 and increased T3 (R).
As you can see in the graph, TSH took a good drop and T3 a good increase with vit A supplementation. OA = obese + vitamin A supplementation. OP = obese + placebo. N = normal weight + vitamin A.
25,000 IU/d of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) for 4 months decreased TSH and T4 and increased T3.— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 9, 2023
Eat your liver boys!! pic.twitter.com/GJTPUeCIRS
Not bad improvements for just 1 vitamin right? Now imagine stacking it with other essential thyroid nutrients, such as zinc, selenium, iodine, etc. Or better yet, eating food rich in those nutrients.
Vitamin A and goiter
When TSH overstimulates the thyroid it can lead to goiter.
Vitamin A can protect against this by down-regulating the TSH-β receptor expression, protecting against elevated TRH levels (R).
Vitamin A on dopamine
Vitamin A increases dopamine sensitivity by increasing the dopamine D2 receptor (R). Low D2 can lead to slow movement, low energy, reduced well-being and happiness and cognitive decline.
Dopamine also helps to lower prolactin. Drugs that help to lower prolactin are D2 agonists, so greater D2 sensitivity should help to better regulate prolactin.
Vitamin A on estrogen & prolactin
Retinol (ROH) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) significantly inhibited aromatase activity in a concentration-dependent manner (R).
Vitamin A inhibits estrogenic effects likely by interfering with the estrogen receptors signaling at the estrogen response element (ERE) level (R).
Vitamin A downregulates the prolactin receptor expression as well as function (R). This should help improve mood and sexual function.
Plant vs animal vitamin A
Vitamin A from animal sources is directly absorbed, utilized and stored, whereas vitamin A from plants (beta-carotene), first needs to be converted to retinol by the liver. Our bodies aren’t very good with this conversion and the ratio is about 12:1 or even worse. Under conditions of stress and disease, the conversion is further reduced or even completely stopped.
Thyroid hormone T3 and vitamin B12 are required to convert beta-carotene to retinol.
What about vitamin A toxicity?
High levels of vitamin A (both beta-carotene and retinol) in the blood are due to low zinc and hypothyroidism (R). People with normal or high thyroid hormones have higher/elevated zinc and normal/low retinol respectively.
Vitamin A’s demands in the body increase when:
- You exercise intensely
- You eat more protein
- You want to increase testosterone production
- You want to improve certain health aspects, such as dandruff, vision, skin, etc…
- Vitamin D levels increase
Thus, you might need more than just the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Toxicity only happens with high doses of synthetic vitamin A (and during hypothyroidism). 300 000IU retinol acetate treatment for a few months is well tolerated (R).
Keep in mind, you need adequate amounts of zinc as well, as zinc is essential for transporting vitamin A through the blood, activating vitamin A to retinoic acid, and is also a component of the nuclear receptor that binds to retinoic acid and allows it to regulate gene expression.
Excellent sources of retinol include liver, cod liver oil, and animal fat including dairy and eggs.
Get your vitamin A extract from a natural source for maximal benefits.
Retinol palmitate or retinol acetate would be the best options, and take with a fatty meal to enhance the absorption thereof.
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