Nutrition Supplementation

Vitamin A – everything you need to know about it

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that plays a very important role in our body.It belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin A - health benefits

It takes part in many processes in our body, eg it is responsible for the proper functioning of the eyes, the immune system and supports the proper development.

Interestingly, it supports the functioning of many organs and the development of infants in the womb.

The recommended daily intake for men is 900 mcg. For women, slightly less than 700 mcg, while for children it is 300-600 mcg of vitamin A.

Vitamin A compounds are found in both animal and vegetable foods and come in two different forms of preformed vitamin A and provitamin A, i.e. beta-carotene.

Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form of vitamin. It occurs in animal products, including meat, chicken, fish and dairy. It contains compounds such as retinol, retinal and retinoic acid.

Provitamin A - beta-carotene is an inactive form of vitamin found in plants.

These compounds are transformed into an active form in your body.For example, beta-carotene is transformed into retinol, the active form of vitamin A in the small intestine.

We present several health benefits that flow from maintaining vitamin A at the appropriate level.

    Vitamin A is responsible for correct vision

    Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the eyesight.

    It is very necessary to transform the light that goes into the eyes, into signals that are then sent to the brain.

    In fact, one of the first symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency may be blindness. People with this disease still see normally during the day, but have reduced vision at night.

    This is because this vitamin is the main component of rhodopsin pigment. The incident light is absorbed by the rhodopsin, whose particle changes as a result of this shape.

    In addition, vitamin A helps to keep the vision at a good level. With age, unfortunately, our eyes are getting weaker.To slow down the process of visual perversion, you should maintain the level of vitamin A at the recommended level.

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of vision loss.Although its exact cause is unknown, it is thought to be the result of damage to retinal cells that can be attributed to oxidative stress.

    Studies have shown that administering beta-carotene supplements to older people has reduced the risk of developing macular degeneration by 25%.

    It lowers the risk of developing some cancers

    Because vitamin A plays an important role in cell growth and development, its impact on the risk of cancer and its role in preventing cancer is of interest to scientists.

    In studies, it was observed that the consumption of larger amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is associated with a reduction in the risk of certain types of cancer, including Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as cervical, lung and bladder cancer.

    Although the consumption of plant-based foods rich in vitamin A is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, foods of animal origin containing active forms of vitamin A, unfortunately, do not work the same.

    At present, the relationship between the level of vitamin A in the body and the risk of cancer is still not fully understood.

    However, current research suggests that getting the right amount of vitamin A, especially from plants, is important for healthy cell division and can reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

    It supports the immune system

    Vitamin A plays a very important role in maintaining natural defense mechanisms in the body.

    It protects mucous membranes that help catch bacteria and other infectious agents, eg in the eyes, lungs, intestines or genitalia.

    Vitamin A also deals in the production of white blood cells that help in combating bacteria and other pathogens from the bloodstream.

    This means that its deficiency can directly contribute to increased susceptibility to infection and prolong the convalescence process.

    It is a fact that the administration of vitamin A to children in countries where the risk of eg malaria or measles is very high, reduces the number of deaths.

    Acne

    Acne is one of the most common skin diseases that is not necessarily limited to adolescents.

    It is a chronic inflammation that most often appears on the face, back and chest.

    These pimples are formed when the sebaceous glands are clogged with dead skin and fat that is on the skin.These glands are found in the hair follicles on the skin and produce sebum, an oily, waxy substance that keeps the skin moisturized all the time.

    Although acne is physically harmless, it can have a big impact on people's mental health. Too big acne causes the self-esteem of a person to fall. Long-lasting and untreated can even lead to anxiety and even depression.

    The exact role that vitamin A plays in the development and treatment of acne is still not entirely clear.

    It has been suggested that vitamin A deficiency may increase the risk of acne because it causes overproduction of protein keratin in the hair follicles.

    Some acne medications based on vitamin A are now available on prescription.

    Isotretinoin is one example of oral retinoid that is effective in the treatment of extensive acne. However, this medicine can cause serious side effects and can only be used under medical supervision.

    It supports bone health

    A very important nutrient needed to maintain healthy bones are, among othersprotein, calcium and vitamin D.

    However, eating vitamin A is proving equally important, in particular for the proper development of bones.The deficiency of this vitamin is directly related to the poor condition of the bones.

    In addition, it has been proven that people with lower levels of vitamin A in the blood are more likely to have bone fractures compared to people who have normal vitamin A levels.

    The last meta-analysis showed that people with the highest content of vitamin A in the diet had a 6% reduced risk of fractures.

    Unfortunately, it is necessary to conduct further research, thanks to which it will be possible to unambiguously confirm one of the theories.

    Summary

    Vitamin A is a very important nutrient.Keeping it at the right level is very important for our health.

    Research on vitamin A often gives an ambiguous answer regarding its effects on the functioning of our body.

    It plays a big role in the treatment and prevention of acne, which is very important for our mental health.

    Remember that a healthy and balanced diet rich in various nutrients is the key to good health.

    About author

    David

    David

    I am a graduate of the Physical Education course of Western University of Health Sciences. A lot of personal experience with dietetics and activities perfectly compliments my high-school knowledge.

    I am the coach of the second class of canoeing. Instructor of swimming, gymnastics, athletics, and pilates. For 16 years, I have been practising canoeing - I have won many medals in international competitions.

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