Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in many body functions. It is known for its importance in vision, skin health, cell growth and immunity. Vitamin A comes in two main forms: as retinol (in animal products) and as beta-carotene (in plant foods), which is converted into vitamin A in the body.

Functions of Vitamin A

  • Vision : Vitamin A is essential for maintaining vision. It is a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the retina that allows the eye to see in dim light.
  • Skin Health : It supports skin health by promoting the growth and repair of skin cells. Vitamin A helps protect skin from UV damage and can speed healing of skin injuries.
  • Immune system : Vitamin A plays an important role in supporting the immune system by contributing to the production and function of white blood cells that fight infections.
  • Cell growth and differentiation : It is necessary for the growth and differentiation of cells in various tissues of the body, including the development of embryos during pregnancy.

Sources of Vitamin A

Vitamin A can be obtained from various foods:

  • Animal sources (retinol) : Liver and liver products, fish oil, eggs, milk and dairy products.
  • Plant sources (beta-carotene) : Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, and fruits such as mangoes and apricots.

Recommended daily dose

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A varies depending on age, gender and stage of life. For example, adult men need about 900 micrograms of RAE (retinol activity equivalents) per day, while adult women need about 700 micrograms of RAE.

Lack and excess

  • Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness, increased susceptibility to infections, skin problems and, in severe cases, complete blindness.
  • an overdose of vitamin A , especially in supplement form, can be toxic, causing symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headaches and, in severe cases, liver damage and increased intracranial pressure.

It is important to find a balance and get vitamin A from a balanced diet with a mix of animal and plant sources. If you have concerns about vitamin A deficiency or overdose, a doctor or nutritionist should be consulted to ensure adequate intake.

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