Vitamin A is one of the important nutrients that your body needs. It is good for bones development, keeps your skin moist, it can also prevent night blindness and gives clear vision. Vitamin A plays an important role in the maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidney and other organs. A form of vitamin A called retinal is responsible for transmitting light sensation in the retina of the eye. Provitamin A is a term used to describe substances in foods that the body can convert to vitamin A to satisfy its needs. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant. As it moves through your body it scavenges damaging free radicals and fights inflammation.
Types of Vitamin A
Generally, Vitamin A found in the diet is of two types:
Preformed Vitamin A:
This type of Vitamin is found in animal products that include meat, fish and dairy foods too.
This type of Vitamin is found in plant-based foods. It includes fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is the most common type of Pro-Vitamin A.
Sources of Vitamin A
Important sources are sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, spinach, mango, pumpkin, tomato, oatmeal, peach, peas, papaya, and collard greens in your daily diet to ensure a regular supply of vitamin A. Daily items like cream, egg yolk, beef liver, cheddar cheese, fortified milk, and butter products are rich sources of vitamin A. Yellow fruits and vegetables that contain the pigment carotene are also great sources. You can find a rich amount of Vitamin A in these fruits and vegetables.
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Benefits of Vitamin A
- Plays an important role in bone development.
- Plays important role in cell division and cell growth.
- Reduces the risk of Acne and slows signs of aging.
- Prevents cancer and repairs tissues.
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels, thereby protecting you against the serious risks of heart diseases and strokes.
- Protects the reproductive system.
- Vitamin A can aid in improving vision.
- It protects against UV damage.
- Defense against bacteria, infections, and pollutants.
- It evens skin tone and gives you a glow.
- Prevents urinary stones and strengthens immunity.
- It has antioxidant properties.
- It may reduce cancer.
The Recommended Amount of Vitamin A in Daily Lifestyle
The amount vitamin we should be depend’s on age and gender.
In general, the minimum intake of 900 mcg per day, of the vitamin is essential for males with 14 years ago. While for females of the same age group, it is 700 mcg per day. If a woman is pregnant, then 770 mcg per day is required whereas 1300 mcg per day is required during lactation. Getting too much vitamin A is also a concern.
- It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it is stored in fat cells typically the liver where it will be used as needed.
- Too much vitamin A from supplements in a short or over a long period of time can be toxic and cause a condition known as hypervitaminosis A.
- Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, headaches, skin irritation, pain in joints and bones, and even liver damage.
- If you are taking vitamin A supplements, make sure they are from food-based sources like beta-carotene and use as directed by doctors. Eating anything high in beta-carotene that was cooked is better than raw because your body can digest it better.
Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin deficiency is classified into two types
primary deficiency caused when we intake less amount of vitamins, it can be easily cured by adopting a special vitamin diet or taking vitamin supplements.
When a deficiency occurs as a result of a disease, it is called secondary deficiency.
It may be due to decreased bioavailability of provitamin A carotenoids and Interference with absorption, storage, or transport of vitamin A. It also causes some of the diseases like
- Coeliac disease.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Giardiasis an infection of the gut.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Diseases affecting the pancreas.
- Liver cirrhosis.
- Obstruction of the flow of bile from your liver and gallbladder into your gut.
Symptoms and signs for vitamin A Deficiency
- Infections, including throat and chest infections, and gastroenteritis.
- Delayed growth and bone development in children and teenagers.
Fractures may occur easily, especially in the elderly. In children, toxicity can cause pruritus, anorexia, and failure to thrive. Hepatomegaly and splenomegaly may occur.
Preventions for Vitamin A Deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency can be prevented through a diet which includes:
- Spinach, kale, collards, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables
- Beta-carotene rich fruits such as apricots or peaches, and highly colored vegetables such as carrots, squash, sweet potato
- Milk or cereals that have been fortified with vitamin A
- Egg yolks
In developing countries, successful prevention measures for Deficiency for Vitamin A are:
- Encouraging breastfeeding
- Periodic administration of high-dose vitamin A for children
- Encouraging families to grow fruits and vegetables for food supplementation
- Fish liver oils
- Clinical evaluation(diagnosis)
- 1 Vitamin A
- 1.1 Types of Vitamin A
- 1.2 Sources of Vitamin A
- 1.3 Benefits of Vitamin A
- 1.4 The Recommended Amount of Vitamin A in Daily Lifestyle
- 1.5 Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms
- 1.6 Symptoms and signs for vitamin A Deficiency
- 1.7 Preventions for Vitamin A Deficiency
- 1.8 In developing countries, successful prevention measures for Deficiency for Vitamin A are: