Vitamin A (Retinol) – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Carrots

Other names :: beta-carotene, retinol, anti­ophthalmic

Vitamin A famed vision-enhancing nutrient was isolated in 1930, the first fat-soluble vitamin to be discovered. The body acquires some of its vitamin A through animal fats or vegetable sources. he animal form is divided between retinol and dehydroretinol whereas the vegetable carotene can be split into four very potent groups – alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, gamma-carotene and crypto-carotene. With enough beta-carotene available in the body, the body can manufacture its own vitamin A.

Actions and benefits of vitamin A

  • Vitamin A is required for night vision, and for a healthy skin.
  • It boost immune system. Builds resistance to infections.
  • Keeps tissue in good health.
  • Vitamin A and B2 work together to help keep mucous membranes in the gas­trointestinal tract healthy.

Recommended dosage of vitamin A

  • 5,000 IU daily for men.
  • 4,000 IU daily for women.

Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin A

  • Night blindness.
  • Dry hair or skin.
  • Poor vision.
  • Dry itchy eyes that tire easily are normally a warning of too little vitamin A.

When more may be required

More of this vitamin is required when you consume alcohol, on a low-fat diet, or a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, if you smoke or live in a polluted area. It may also be indicated if you suffer from diabetes or have an under-active thyroid gland. Be careful of vitamin A in pregnancy.

Best food sources of vitamin A

Tomatoescarrots, kale, turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, squash, yams, endive, watermelon, asparagusapplesapricots, prunes, papayaavocados, paprika, pumpkin and lemon grass.

How to use vitamin A

Available as:

Liquid: the best form due to its high bio availability and fast absorption. Always choose liquid as your first choice when supplementing your diet.

Tablets: available

Storage:

Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.

Useful References

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