Surprising Facts About Vitamin A You Need to Know
Vitamin A is one of the vitamins that people should be taking if they want to stay healthy.
But did you know that there are other things about Vitamin A that we need to consider before we decide whether or not it’s worth taking? Let’s take a look at some facts about this particular vitamin and see what they have to say.
Vitamin A is Available in Three Forms
There are actually three main types of Vitamin A supplements readily available for purchase, each with its own differences and benefits to consider.
Retinol is the form that most people are familiar with since it’s what you’ll typically find in multivitamins or prenatal vitamins.
Retinol Ester Supplements are also a type of Vitamin A, although they have to be converted into retinol within the body before they can be used. Retinol esters are usually recommended for people who need to bring up their levels slowly.
The last form of Vitamin A is pro-vitamin A Carotenoids, which aren’t actually “used” as Vitamin A until the body converts them into retinol.
You Can Get Too Much of It
Vitamin A is a type of fat-soluble vitamin, which means that your body can store it for later use – even if you take more than necessary. However, too much Vitamin A over a period of time can be harmful. According to the National Institutes of Health, just one day’s worth of doses that exceed 10,000 IU for adults and children over 12 could lead to increased bone fractures and liver damage.
Vitamin A is a Great Defense Against HIV/AIDS
Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against free radical damage and helping to rebuild and strengthen the body’s immune system by affecting our white blood cells. This can help HIV/AIDS patients maintain a healthy immune system while also fighting against infections that may come from opportunistic diseases.
It Can Help You Fight Off Cancer, Too!
Not only can Vitamin A help prevent cancer due to its ability to fight free radicals; the immune system also becomes strengthened by it. Vitamin A may help prevent cancer from developing in the body.
Eating Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Boost Your Immune System, Too!
Vitamin A is one of many essential nutrients that our bodies rely on to keep us healthy. One of the best ways to get it is by eating lots of fruits and vegetables since they contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which is then converted into Vitamin A.
What Is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is an organic compound that can be found in food sources like fish oils, liver, broccoli, leaves, butter, and carrots. It’s one of the essential vitamin supplements for humans.
It helps fight off infections, promotes good vision, keeps skin healthy by fighting free radicals, boosts the immune system, and improves bone growth.
Now that you know more about Vitamin A and exactly how it can benefit your health, you may want to consider taking Vitamin A supplements if you don’t already. Just remember to take them responsibly and never exceed the recommended daily amount!
What are the benefits of vitamin A?
The benefits of vitamin A are plentiful. Vitamin A provides nutritional support for your eyes, helps maintain healthy skin, and promotes healthy teeth and bones. Health professionals also use vitamin A to treat acne and other skin diseases, as well as intestinal parasites. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers to add vitamin A to many foods, including milk and margarine. This helps prevent a deficiency that can lead to blindness.
1. Eye Health
Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyesight, especially night vision. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, your eye will be dry and itchy because of the lack of this nutrient. The skin that surrounds your eyes can also become scaly as a result of a vitamin A deficiency. Many health professionals prescribe vitamin A supplements to promote healthy eyesight and reduce the risk of visual impairment.
2. Healthy Skin
Vitamin A is necessary to keep your skin looking young and supple. It also helps treat acne, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions. The oil glands in your skin depend on vitamin A to remain active, which means that a deficiency can leave your skin dry and flaky.
3. Healthy Teeth and Bones
Vitamin A promotes healthy tooth enamel, which means that a deficiency can lead to swollen gums and painful sensitive teeth. Vitamin A also helps promote calcium absorption, which is necessary for strong bones. Without adequate vitamin A in your diet, you may become more susceptible to bone fractures.
4. Supports Immune Function
Vitamin A helps your body fight infection, allergies, and diseases caused by bacteria or viruses. People who have frequent respiratory infections, such as flu or pneumonia, may be deficient in vitamin A because the nutrient is necessary for a healthy immune system. This can also increase your risk of developing tuberculosis, as well as lung and intestinal diseases such as bronchitis.
5. Prevents Anemia
Anemia is a blood disorder that causes fatigue, weakness, or dizziness because of a lack of oxygen in your cells. Vitamin A helps you produce red blood cells by promoting the growth of new ones, which means it can help prevent iron deficiency anemia and other types of anemia.
What is Vitamin A Good For?
It’s good for heart health, healthy defenses against bacteria and viruses, clear skin, night vision, and more.
What is Vitamin A Used For?
Vitamin A is used for maintaining good vision, especially in low-light conditions; helping to form and maintain healthy skin, mucous membranes, and immune system; and keeping bones, teeth, and gums healthy. Vitamin A also helps regulate certain cells in the body and is important for reproduction.
Are there any Drawbacks to using Vitamin A?
Although it is natural, too much vitamin A can be harmful to your health. If you take vitamin supplementation, the FDA recommends that you do not exceed 10,000 IU daily unless your doctor prescribes a different dosage. Using such large quantities over long periods of time can cause birth defects and liver problems. If you take a multivitamin, do not exceed the daily recommended dosage because it usually contains much smaller amounts of vitamin A than supplements.
It May not be safe for Pregnant Women
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warn that large doses of vitamin A might increase the risk of birth defects, especially if a woman takes it during early pregnancy.
May Not be Safe for Children
The NIH also warns that large doses of vitamin A might interfere with a child’s development and cause liver problems or other harmful side effects. Talk to your health care provider before giving any supplements to kids.
What Foods Contain Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene?
Some of the best sources of Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids are sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, spinach (and other dark leafy greens), cantaloupe, and apricots. Carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in your body when eaten. Foods that contain vitamin A in the form of retinol are liver, eggs, dairy products, and fish.
Foods with vitamin A include:
– liver and other organ meats (beef, pork, chicken)
– whole milk and some dairy products like cheese and yogurt
– fortified breakfast cereals and fortified orange juice
– fish oils, cod liver oil, and halibut liver oil – some dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach)
It is important to note that Vitamin A can be found in various forms in food: Retinol and Beta-Carotene. Retinol is a more soluble and stable source of Vitamin A than Beta-Carotene. That is why it is advisable to maintain a diet that contains both retinol and carotenoids as they both have beneficial effects on human health.
How Much Vitamin A Do I Need?
Babies need 200 – 300 micrograms of vitamin A each day.
Children aged 1-3 years should have 400 micrograms, while children aged 4+ should be having 500-700 micrograms daily. (According to www.mayoclinic.org)
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble dietary supplement that is essential for good vision and a healthy immune system. Although a lack of vitamin A will not lead to a significant hearing loss, it can cause blindness if left untreated. Several other symptoms may be present along with night blindness or Bitot’s spots as well.
Night blindness is the name given to the symptom of not being able to see very well in low light conditions, but more specifically it refers to a vision condition that makes seeing at night difficult for some individuals. When vitamin A deficiency is the cause of night blindness, you will also experience Bitot’s spots. Bitot’s spots are patches that appear on the surface of your eye in the area between your cornea and iris. Bitot’s spots are often accompanied by dry eyes, light sensitivity, itching, eye redness, blurred vision, crusty eyelids, swelling around the eyes, and small white or yellow hard lumps along the edge of your eyelids.
Causes of Vitamin A Deficiency
There are many causes of vitamin A deficiency, including:
– Not getting enough vitamin A in your diet
– Problems with digesting food properly, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease
– Conditions that affect how your body absorbs nutrients, such as cystic fibrosis
– Liver disease
– Alcohol abuse
– Severe diarrhea or vomiting
Vitamin A is essential to your health and can be found in many foods that you consume daily. If you notice symptoms like night blindness or Bitot’s spots, then vitamin A deficiency may be the culprit so it is advised to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis and prescribed supplements if needed.
A proper diet is the best source of vitamins and minerals that your body needs for good health. That is why it is advisable to maintain a healthy, balanced diet along with regular exercise in order to get all the nutrients that our bodies need.