Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, like vitamin D , that the body needs in order to ensure that a variety of bodily functions are carried out optimally. The true form of vitamin A is only found in animal products; however, some fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, a compound that can be converted to vitamin A once it is in the body. This means that if you are a vegetarian , it is still fully possible for you to meet your vitamin A requirements without having to rely on supplements. Now that we’ve given you a little background information, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of vitamin A 101.
Vitamin A is truly a super nutrient: It powers your eyesight (especially night vision), and keeps your skin , gums, and teeth healthy. It also boosts your immune system and helps you fight off viruses. The older you get, the more you seem to require vitamin A to protect cognitive function. A study at Utah State University found that older adults with high intakes of antioxidants, including carotene (a plant compound that your body can convert into vitamin A), had a slower rate of mental decline.
Vitamin A actually is a group of antioxidant compounds that play an important role in vision, bone growth and health of the immune system. Vitamin A also helps the surface of the eye, mucous membranes and skin be effective barriers to bacteria and viruses, reducing the risk of eye infections , respiratory problems and other infectious diseases.
Vitamin A supplements have not been proven to reduce cancer risk in humans. It appears that the combination of micronutrients in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains is more likely to be helpful than individual vitamins.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause low resistance to infection, poor night vision, blindness due to ulcers on the cornea, poor growth in children, weak bones and teeth, inflamed eyes, diarrhea, and poor appetite. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to death, mainly in children from developing countries. It is rare in developed countries.
Vitamin A is found in various foods including yellow-orange fruits and vegetables; dark green, leafy vegetables; vitamin A-fortified milk; liver; and margarine. Vitamin A comes in two different forms, retinols and beta-carotene. Retinols are found in foods that come from animals (meat, milk, eggs). The form of vitamin A found in plants is called beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body). Food processing may destroy some of the vitamins. For example, freezing may reduce the amount of vitamin A in foods.
Vitamin A is a vitamin which is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite , the light-absorbing molecule retinal. This molecule is absolutely necessary for both scotopic and color vision. Vitamin A also functions in a very different role, as an irreversibly oxidized form retinoic acid, which is an important hormone -like growth factor for epithelial and other cells.
Vitamin A helps the body to absorb iron, so a prolonged deficiency of A may lead to anemia. Excess vitamin A may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
Vitamin A is essential for optimal health. It improves skin conditions and night vision; it also boosts the immune system, which helps the body to fight cancer and other diseases. Signs of vitamin A deficiency may include dry, irritated eyes that tire easily, frequent colds, sinus, ear or respiratory problems, skin irritations such as acne or boils, insomnia and fatigue. If you are taking a vitamin A supplement, take steps to increase your body’s absorption to get the maximum benefit.
Vitamin A enhances the immune system and aids reproductive health as well. It’s also preventative of infections, including the respiratory and diarrheal infections common to children. Worldwide, vitamin A deficiency takes a terrible toll in child mortality and blindness. Carotenoids are protective of heart disease and certain cancers.
Vitamin A (the kind found in animal sources) is one of several fat-soluble activators that is necessary for the assimilation of minerals in the diet. According to Sally Fallon, Vitamin A is the “concert master for a developing fetus.” Vitamin A is also essential for eye health.
Vitamin A is crucial for good health and development. Read on to find out how much vitamin A your child needs, the best sources, and how to avoid getting too little or too much.