What is Vitamin A
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What is Vitamin A – Everything you need to know

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We all need to get enough vitamin A or substances that stimulate the body’s production of vitamin A. This article is written for you who want to learn all the important things there are to learn about the vitamin. You will be able to read about:

  • Why you must get the vitamin.
  • What vitamin A is for something.
  • What is vitamin A good for?
  • Vitamin A deficiency.
  • How to get vitamin A in food.

All this and much much more. Follow us as we explore the vitamin in depth.

What is Vitamin A?

What is Vitamin A
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As the name has already revealed, vitamin A is a vitamin, that is, a vital nutrient for us humans. Vitamin A can is a fat-soluble vitamin. The fact that vitamin A is fat-soluble means that, unlike water-soluble vitamins, it dissolves in fat but not in water. The vitamin comes in different forms with different names for example:

  • Retinol
  • Retinal
  • Retinoic acid
  • Beta-carotene

In general, we can divide the vitamin into two different types. Retinoids and carotenoids. Both forms are available in a variety of foods. In this article, we will not delve into retinoids and carotenoids, but it may be good to know that the vitamin can be divided into these two types.

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Now that we know what Vitamin A is for, it’s time to look at what it’s good for.

What is vitamin A good for?

Vitamin A has several important functions in our body. It is vital to get for you to function well. Among other things, it is a vitamin that is needed for us to grow and develop. Already in the fetal stage, vitamin A is needed for this very purpose. This is also a vitamin that our immune system must get to function. Perhaps the most well-known effect of the vitamin is that it is required for us to maintain good eyesight both in light and in the dark.

The vitamin is needed in the retina of the fundus. Retinal together with the protein opsin combines and creates rhodopsin. This is something that allows us to see especially in the dark and the process must work for us to be able to see color.

In short, we can sum up that Vitamin A is good for:

  • Your sight
  • Your Immune System
  • Your legs and your skeleton
  • Your skin
  • Your mucous membranes
  • Growth
  • Reproduction

Sometimes articles like this can be very informative. They are packed with information but in the end, you do not know what or why to do something. In short, they become abstract. Therefore, we thought we would make this article a little more concrete by telling you five of the main benefits of Vitamin A that you can take with you when you finish reading! In other words, Why should you make sure you get enough of the vitamin.

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The main health benefits of vitamin A.

You need to get in your vitamin A or substances that stimulate your body’s natural production of this vitamin for several reasons. This is what we have already gone through a vitamin that is part of many different processes in your body. But let’s outline the biggest health benefits when you have a good balance of vitamin A in your body.

The vision that works as it should

The vision that works as it should
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Vitamin A is needed for the light that hits your eye to be passed on as an electrical signal to your brain, which then understands what you see. Together with zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D, it has also been shown to slow down degradation changes in the retina. That is, prevent impaired vision due to age.

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Better cell development

Without vitamin A, our cells cannot grow and develop properly. This is something that is of great interest in cancer research where they look at the connection between a proper intake of vitamin A and a reduced risk of cancer.

There is also research that shows that Vitamin A helps with wound healing. Vitamin deficiency has been shown to prolong the healing of wounds while retinoids help speed healing. The effect is thus double.

Ensures a well-functioning immune system

Ensures a well-functioning immune system
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It has been shown that our immune system feels better when it gets enough of this important vitamin. Vitamin A helps your immune system in two ways:

  • It strengthens the function of your immune system ( strengthens the immune system ).
  • It helps the immune system in fighting various diseases.

If the immune system is deficient in vitamin A, it can therefore lead to you being more easily infected. So remember that the right intake of the vitamin can mean that you do not get sick so often.

Beautiful skin

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As if that weren’t enough, vitamins can help you get better skin, especially if you have acne problems. Today, the vitamin is used in many medicines for acne. It is not yet completely mapped exactly how vitamin A helps against acne but there seems to be a connection. So much so that it has even begun to include the vitamin in prescription medications.

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Healthy bone mass

It is known that deficiency of vitamin A can lead to weakened bone mass in the body and the reverse is of course also true. Enough of the vitamin is needed for our bones to grow and feel good. This is especially important during the years when we are still growing but not unimportant in adulthood.

There we have five reasons to get enough Vitamin A. But what happens if we do not get the right amount?

Vitamin A deficiency in the world [1]

Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include:

  • Night blindness (not seeing well in the dark)
  • Sensitive eyes
  • Inflamed and impure skin
  • Ocular catarrh
  • Poor quality of nails
  • Decreased resistance to inflammation

So now we know what Vitamin is for something, what it is good for, and what happens if we do not get the right amount. The question, of course, is what is the right amount? We will answer that and many other common questions very soon. Before we do that, we will briefly look at what you who are pregnant should think about when it comes to vitamin A. Because you probably remember how important it was just for us to grow and develop, especially the fetus.

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Vitamin A for pregnant women

Vitamin A for pregnant women
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Both mother and fetus need vitamin A. You can think about getting vitamin A while pregnant and you must get enough of it from the beginning of your pregnancy, perhaps even before you plan to become pregnant. This is because the fetus already needs this vitamin as an embryo to develop. But remember, if you ingest too much, it can instead have harmful effects on the fetus.

As always, check with your doctor and be careful if you are considering taking a vitamin supplement. Stick to the dosage recommended for pregnant women to avoid unnecessary risks. Also, think about which foods give you this vitamin quite naturally. If you eat a lot of the food that is rich in vitamin A, you probably do not need to get more in tablet form. Which brings us to the next part.

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Vitamin A foods

Vitamin A foods
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Vitamin a deficiency is unusual in the United States. This is because much of the food they eat contains vitamin A or the various forms we went through at the beginning of the article. Vitamin A in food can be found in larger amounts in, among other things:

  • Liver
  • Sweet potato
  • Eel
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Margarine fortified with vitamins
  • Dairy products
  • Egg
  • Carrots
  • Acai
  • Rosehip
  • Spinach
  • Apricots
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli
  • Mango

If you have come this far in the article, you already know a lot about the important vitamin. There are only two parts left of the article. The first goes through the most common questions about vitamin a that we have not already addressed. The second part is 5 tips you can take with you to get the vitamin in you and improve your uptake!

Questions and answers about vitamin A.

Here are some very common questions and answers about vitamin A that may be helpful to take a look at when you are considering taking vitamin A supplements or wondering if symptoms that you are experiencing are signs of deficiency.

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How much vitamin A do I need?

The intake of vitamin A every day can be described as mg or as RE (retinol equivalents). 1 µg of vitamin A corresponds to 1 retinol equivalent. 300 (g (micro milligrams) and is the same as 0.3 mg.

How much you need depends on who you are and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, for example. These recommendations are taken from the National Food Administration.

Adults:

  • Men – 0.9 mg per day (900 units of account)
  • Women not pregnant – 0.7 mg per day (700 units of account)
  • Pregnant women – 0.8 mg per day (800 units of account)
  • Breast-feeding women – 1.1 mg per day (1100 units of account )

Children:

  • 0–2 years – 0.3 mg per day (300 units of account)
  • 2–5 years – 0.35 mg per day (350 units of account)
  • 6–9 years – 0.4 mg per day (400 units of account)
  • 10–13 years – 0.6 mg per day (600 units of account)

Just remember that in the case of vitamin A deficiency you can get another recommendation for dosing from your doctor. Remember that it is important that you have any deficiencies determined by a doctor before starting any treatment with supplements or making a change to your diet. Namely, there are dangers of getting a vitamin A overdose.

How much vitamin A is too much?

This is an important issue. Because you and many others are probably wondering if it is important to stick to recommended doses or if it is possible to hip. As with all recommendations, these are general tips. The fact that you get a little too little or a little too much at some point does not mean that it is dangerous.

However, if you take doses of more than 3 mg every day for a long time, it can lead to you being poisoned. For postmenopausal women, it is recommended not to exceed 1.5 mg of vitamin A per day. This is due to the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.

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What can happen with vitamin A overdose?

Just as vitamin A is good for bones in the right dose, it can have the opposite effect when it has overdosed. It can then have a skeletal degrading effect. Older people who ingest too much of this vitamin suffer a greater risk of hip fractures, for example. Especially pregnant women and very young children, an overdose is especially dangerous. Too much vitamin A can even lead to birth defects.

If you are a normal healthy person, the risk is small that you get too much vitamin A. If you are taking a vitamin supplement, it is good to be careful though.

What should I do in case of a vitamin A overdose?

In the event of an overdose, stop taking the vitamin that caused it immediately. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to seek medical attention, which may, among other things, mean that you receive fluid intravenously. Then it may be weeks and months before the stored excess of the vitamin is out of the body. It is not possible to rinse with water as it is stored in the liver and adipose tissue.

Where can I buy a really good vitamin A?

The chance that you need to take vitamin A supplements is small. You probably get it in you through your diet. If you need to buy, they are available in many stores and pharmacies. A vitamin is available online and comes in different variants and different sized packages. Buy only as many vitamin pills or capsules as you need or have been prescribed by your doctor. In addition to pharmacies, vitamin A is often found in regular stores and health food stores.

Why are carrots good for eyesight?

Carrots have vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. A so-called provitamin as it is also called. Beta-carotene is also classified as an antioxidant that is often found in vegetables and fruits including carrots. The reason why carrots are often considered good for eyesight is precise that they contain a lot of the provitamin. An ordinary carrot contains about 3 mg of the substance.

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Other natural ways to get beta carotene are via:

  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Mango

What are the common signs of vitamin A deficiency?

We have already been a bit in the signs of a vitamin deficiency but there are several symptoms that you should be aware of. Some common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are, as I said, impaired vision in the dark, so-called night blindness. Other symptoms are:

  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Slow growth
  • Infections of the throat and breast
  • Infertility
  • Skin problems such as acne

Can you use vitamin A as a skin cream?

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Yes, retinoids used as a cream on the skin can be effective as a treatment for acne and aging skin. Some research shows different links between a healthy lifestyle and the amount of vitamin A in your skin. Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation.

How long does it take before symptoms of vitamin A deficiency become noticeable?

It can take two years of vitamin A deficiency before symptoms of the deficiency become noticeable. This means that the cause of some symptoms can be difficult to deduce because it is precisely vitamin A that you have too little of.

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Why do people take vitamin A supplements if there is so much vitamin in their diet?

Why do people take vitamin A supplements if there is so much vitamin in their diet?
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The reason why many people take a vitamin supplement can be many. The supplements can have different purposes, not just to supplement with vitamin for the body’s processes. So in addition to the fact that many people may think that they are suffering from a deficiency (even though they probably do not), it may be that they got it prescribed by a doctor.

Then vitamin A can be found in various creams that are for acne and skin problems. For example, it is common to try to treat wrinkles with this vitamin in cream. Besides, the vitamin can be used as a treatment for measles and problems with dry eyes.

Tips and interesting facts about vitamin A.

If you have managed to read all the way here, you are already a true expert of vitamin A. In our last part, we have gathered some extra knowledge and interesting facts about a vitamin. You will also find tips and what to think about to improve uptake!

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Good to eat fat in conjunction with the vitamin

Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is excreted slowly in the body, it is good to get enough fat together with the vitamin. Fat intake can make it easier for the body to pick up vitamin A that you get through food and possible supplements. But keep in mind that it should of course be good fat and of course not exaggerate just to get a better effect with vitamin A.

Stored in the liver

Vitamins that are excreted in fat are stored in our liver and the body’s adipose tissues if you get more than you need. This means that you do not have to get vitamin A every day. It is enough that you get enough in you once or twice a week. The stock that is built up can last for several weeks. Sometimes for several months.

Better in food than in pills

As always, we believe that your need for vitamins and vitamin A should be covered by the food you get in you rather than taking supplements. This is because, as always, we advocate natural diets and it can be easy to overdose with pills. Also, the natural fat content of the food you eat can help your body absorb the vitamin.

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Vegetables can give you everything you need

Vegetables can give you everything you need
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Vegetables that have an orange or red color such as carrot, melon, and spinach have a higher content of the vitamin. A serving of carrots can easily contain twice the daily need for vitamin A. Make a vegetable smoothie that contains these vegetables and fruits and you probably do not need any supplements!

Do not miss the sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source to get you in vitamin a. Sweet potatoes are often listed as number two after the liver as the recommended natural source of vitamin A. It is a perfect way to get more vitamin A, especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan.


References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3534019
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24183637
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19104740
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11594942
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264659/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6162863/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4384860/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139236/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1872447/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482362/
  • https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/

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