Vitamin A – All About this Essential Vitamin and its Benefits
Vitamins are nutritional organic compounds that the body needs in order to function at its normal or optimum level. It is a home and herbal remedy that is usually obtained from the diet and is recommended to be ingested in adequate amounts. Vitamin A is among the organic compounds that should be added to your regular food intake.
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A, a light yellow nutritional organic compound, was known in 1913. It was the first vitamin ever discovered with a fat-soluble characteristic. It sustains the body’s healthy tissues, skin, teeth and the proper functioning of the retina of the eye.
Studies are also linking Vitamin A in promoting a good reproduction and an enhanced breastfeeding. Rich sources of Vitamin A possess bright yellow and orange colors. This vitamin is sometimes called Retinol, Retinoic acid, Retinal or Carotenoids.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient. It offers comprehensive benefits to the body’s growth and well-being. According to studies, Beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A, may help reduce the possibility of acquiring cancer. This vitamin may also help in managing diabetes, nervous system disorders and cardiovascular ailments. The other benefits of Vitamin A are as follows:
- It supports bone metabolism.
- It has a major role in having a good eyesight. It also protects the eyes from various eye disorders that include cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
- It can lessen complications brought about by diseases such as HIV, measles, malaria and diarrhea.
- It gives an antioxidant effect protecting the body from free radicals that causes aging and serious damage to the different parts of the body.
- It promotes skin and cellular health. Vitamin A is used as a management for eczema, cold sores, acne, wounds, sunburn, psoriasis and other skin disorders.
- It plays a role in the body’s good immune functioning, thus, fighting viral infections.
- Retinol – This is an active type of Vitamin A that promotes the growth of epithelial and other cells. It can be found in the yellow fat-soluble substances of animal sources. Retinol is also found in commercially made esters in the form of palmitate or retinyl acetate.
- 4 carotenoids – The 4 carotenoids are xanthophylls beta-cryptoxanthin, gamma-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.
Since this is an organic compound, it can be found vastly in many natural foods. It would be very easy to find good sources of Vitamin A that can be added to your regular diet. Some of the sources include:
- Vegetables – Dandelion, carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, collard, pumpkin, peas
- Fruits – Cantaloupe melon, sweet potatoes, pink grapefruit, papaya, apricot, mango
- Dairy products – Eggs, cheddar cheese, milk, butter
- Meat products – Livers from chicken, beef, turkey, fish and pork
What Happens when There’s a Deficiency in Vitamin A?
The world experiences death and sickness resulting from the insufficient intake of Vitamin A. In developing countries such as Africa and Southeast Asia, thousands and thousands of children suffer from blindness due to Vitamin A deficiency. Annual reports also show that approximately 670, 000 children under the age of 5 die from this deficiency. This deficiency may be a result of inadequate intake of foods rich in Vitamin A or due to a mal-absorption disorder that impairs the body to take in Vitamin A nutrients. Aside from vision problems, infectious diseases can potentially be experienced when this vitamin is insufficient.