Vitamin A, Benefits, Symptoms, and Sources: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found in many foods. Healthy vision, a healthy immune system, and reproduction depend on it. In addition, it improves the function of the body’s organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.
Vitamin A: what is it?
In nature, vitamin A can be found in a variety of forms. There are different types of vitamin A. The majority of retinoids are found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The majority of carotenoids are found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods. The most common carotenoid is beta-carotene.
The liver converts both vitamins into “retinol” in the body. The lymphatic system then transports or stores retinol throughout the body.
What are the effects of vitamin A on the body?
In terms of nutrition, this vitamin is beneficial to the body in a number of ways.
- Antioxidant that is powerful
In the body, antioxidants protect tissues from free radicals.
Antioxidants kill free radicals and repair damaged cells. Furthermore, antioxidants reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- The health of the eyes depends on it
In order for light to be converted into electrical signals and to be transmitted to the brain, vitamin A is required.
Vitamin A deficiency is characterized by nyctalopia. The pigment rhodopsin is formed by this vitamin in the retina. Due to its sensitivity to light, rhodopsin can enhance vision in low-light conditions.
People with retinal detachment have normal vision during the day, but their vision becomes severely impaired at night and in low light due to rhodopsin deficiency.
Beta-carotene may also prevent vision loss due to aging, as well as retinal detachment.
“Age-related macular degeneration” (AMD), also called yellow spot degeneration (YSD), is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60. Damage to retinal cells may be caused by oxidative stress, but the exact cause is unknown.
Over 50s with yellow spot destruction who take antioxidant supplements are 25% less likely to develop the advanced form, according to research.
- Cancer risk is reduced
Cancer occurs when cells divide or grow uncontrollably in the body. Scientists have been studying vitamin A’s effectiveness in preventing and reducing cancer risk due to its role in cell growth and development.
Cancers such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cervical, lung, and bladder can be reduced by eating beta-carotene.
Despite high intakes of vitamin A from plant foods reducing cancer risk, animal foods containing active forms of vitamin A are not as effective.
Furthermore, vitamin A supplements have not been shown to be as effective as natural sources of vitamin A. Beta-carotene supplements increase lung cancer risk in smokers.
- Infertility and fetal growth can be improved with it
To maintain a healthy reproductive system and ensure the fetus’s average growth during pregnancy, men and women need vitamin A.
A vitamin deficiency causes infertility in men by reducing sperm cell growth. Deficits of this vitamin in women also reduce the quality of the egg and hinder implantation.
The skeleton, nervous system, heart, kidneys, eyes, lungs, and pancreas of the fetus need vitamin A to grow and develop during pregnancy. Furthermore, overuse during pregnancy can result in congenital disabilities in the fetus.
During pregnancy, pregnant women should avoid eating foods containing large amounts of this vitamin and taking supplements containing it.
- Strengthens the immune system
Vitamin A boosts the immune system. By having this vitamin in the body, the mucosa of parts of the body, such as the eyes, lungs, intestines, and genitals, will be protected from bacteria and infectious agents.
Vitamin A is also essential for the production and function of white blood cells. Bacteria and pathogens are absorbed and cleared from the bloodstream by white blood cells. In turn, this vitamin deficiency can increase your susceptibility to infection and delay your recovery from illness.
The risk of death from diseases such as measles and malaria has been reduced in countries where vitamin A deficiency is prevalent.
- The skin and its protection depend on vitamin A
Acne is an inflammatory and chronic skin disease. The face, back, and chest of people with this disease develop painful spots and blackheads.
Keeps your skin oily and waterproof with oils and waxes. Acne is caused by excess fat and dead cells blocking the sebaceous glands.
In some people, acne scars can cause anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
The role of vitamin A in acne development and treatment is unknown. This vitamin may, however, increase acne risk, as it causes the creatine protein to overproduce hair follicles.
The overproduction of creatine protein can block hair follicles and make it difficult to drain dead cells.
The skin also benefits from vitamin A.
The most obvious signs of aging are wrinkles, which can be treated with retinoids. This vitamin can be found in many gels and serums available on the market.
A retinoid’s active ingredient, retinoic acid, keeps the skin smooth, fresh, and moisturized. Dry skin, itching, and brittle hair can be caused by a vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A stimulates the production of pigment in the skin and promotes natural tanning.
It improves and softens the skin and regulates the body’s metabolism to regenerate skin cells.
- Maintains bone health
A protein’s health depends on calcium throughout its lifespan, as you probably know. In contrast, vitamin A deficiency can cause osteoporosis because it is essential for bone growth.
Vitamin A deficiency is associated with a 6% higher risk of bone fractures than vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A-rich foods: what are they?
Animal sources of thyroid and active vitamin A include liver and fish. A precursor to this vitamin is also found in milk and chicken eggs.
Vitamin A precursors, including beta-carotene, are also found in green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomatoes, fruits, and some vegetable oils.
What are the health risks associated with high vitamin A intake?
Dizziness, nausea, headaches, coma, and even death can result from an overdose of retinoids (found in some supplements and medications).
During pregnancy, high intakes of vitamin A can increase the risk of congenital disabilities. Vitamin A supplements should not be taken by pregnant women.
Beta-carotene or other vitamin A precursors can also cause yellowing or orangeing of the skin. Although these complications are not harmful, they may have other side effects.
Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This vitamin deficiency also increases the severity and risk of diarrhea and measles.
Food poisoning can result from high retinoid intake, so consult your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements. Furthermore, these supplements may interact with birth control pills, anticoagulants, and acne medications.