Discover the 5 shocking health benefits of vitamin A.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also a powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, skin health, and more; the health benefits of vitamin A, like all antioxidants, intervenes in the reduction of inflammation-fighting the damage of free radicals;
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is one way to naturally slow down aging.
Antioxidants like vitamin A are also responsible for building strong bones, regulating gene regulation, maintaining healthy, clear skin, facilitating cell differentiation, and supporting immune function.
5 health benefits of vitamin A
1.- Protects eye health
Vitamin A is a critical part of the rhodopsin molecule, which is activated when light shines on the retina and sends a signal to the brain, resulting in vision.
Beta carotene, the form of vitamin A found in plants, plays a role in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related blindness.
In a study sponsored by the National Eye Institute, such as an age-related eye disease study, people at high risk for the disease who took a daily multivitamin that included the health benefits of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper, had a 25 percent reduction in the risk of advanced macular degeneration over six years.
Studies also show that vitamin A drops are effective for treating dry eyes.
One study found that over-the-counter lubricating drops that contain the health benefits of vitamin A are just as effective for treating dry eye syndrome as more expensive prescription drops formulated for dry eye relief.
Another study was conducted in early 2011 by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York; discovered that a synthetic and altered form of vitamin A benefits could slow the progression of Stargardt’s disease, an inherited eye disease that causes severe vision loss in young people.
2.- Provides immune support
Various functions of the immune system depend on sufficient vitamin A, which is why it is known as an important immune starter vitamin.
The genes involved in immune responses are regulated by vitamin A, which means that it is essential to fight serious diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases, but also diseases such as the flu or the common colds.
Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and prevent a variety of chronic diseases.
The health benefits of vitamin A can especially help the immunity of children, a study conducted in London found that vitamin A supplements reduced infant mortality by 24% in low- and middle-income countries.
The study also found that vitamin A deficiency in children increases their vulnerability to infections such as diarrhea and measles.
Another study by the Colombian health-related social security system provided 100,000 children with vitamin A supplements, who generally did not take any.
They found that there was an estimated medical cost savings of $ 340,306,917 due to the number of events involving diarrhea (4,268) and malaria (76), and hospitalization, which were reduced due to supplementation.
This study concluded that it would be cost-effective to use vitamin A supplements to treat these medical problems in children.
3.- Fight inflammation
The health benefits of vitamin A have antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body that cause cell and tissue damage. Vitamin A can prevent cells from becoming overactive.
When the immune system overreacts to proteins in food, this is what creates food allergies and ultimately inflammation.
Taking vitamin A can help reduce the risk of certain types of food allergies, as it helps prevent this dangerous overreaction.
Reducing inflammation levels also correlated with a lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and disease Parkinson.
4.- Supports skin health and cell growth
The health benefits of vitamin A are necessary for wound healing and skin regrowth.
It is necessary to support all epithelial (skin) cells both internally and externally and is a powerful aid in the fight against skin cancer.
The vitamin is necessary to form glycoproteins, a combination of sugar and proteins, which help cells join together to form soft tissues.
A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to a poor complexion, as indicated by studies showing that vitamin A can fight acne and improve overall skin health.
Vitamin A maintains the lines and wrinkles on your skin, producing more collagen, which is responsible for keeping your skin young. Vitamin A can also contribute to healthy hair.
5.- It can help prevent cancer
According to a study conducted at the University of York, taking the benefits of vitamin A could help treat various forms of cancer thanks to the vitamin’s ability to control malignant cells in the body.
Retinoic acid is now understood to play an important role in cell development and differentiation, as well as in the treatment of cancer.
Lung, prostate, breast, ovarian, bladder, oral, and skin cancers are suppressed by retinoic acid.
Another study collected numerous references demonstrating the findings of retinoic acid in melanoma, hepatoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
The researchers found new evidence indicating that molecular mechanisms in retinoic acid may control the fates of cancer cells.
Since high doses of retinoic acid can cause cytotoxicity, meaning it can be toxic to cells, it is probably best used as a potential supplement in the daily diet to prevent or suppress cancer progression.
Keep in mind that it is always best to get vitamin A from natural sources, such as food, and not to overload vitamin A supplements in the hope of preventing illness, as more is not necessarily better.
Sources of vitamin A
The health benefits of vitamin A are found in two primary forms: active vitamin A and beta carotene;
This active vitamin comes from foods derived from animals and is called retinol; This “preformed” vitamin A can be used directly by the body; you do not need to convert the Vitamin first.
The other type of vitamin A, which is obtained from colorful fruits and vegetables, is in the form of “pro-Vitamin A” carotenoids, which the body converts to retinol after ingesting food.
Beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid found primarily in plants, must first be converted to active vitamin A for use by the body.
Studies have repeatedly shown that antioxidants like vitamin A are vital for good health and longevity; they benefit eye health, increase immunity and promote cell growth.
Nutrition experts and doctors recommend getting antioxidants like vitamin A primarily by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods whenever possible, rather than supplements.
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency
The health benefits of vitamin A are essential for normal vision, as well as for proper bone growth, healthy skin, and protection of the mucous membranes of the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts against infection. People with long-term fat malabsorption are very susceptible to developing a vitamin A deficiency.
The most common health problems that will cause vitamin A malabsorption include gluten sensitivity problems, leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune responses, inflammatory bowel disease, and pancreatic disorders; alcoholics, whose excess toxicity creates low levels of vitamin A, are also at a much higher risk of cold deficiency.
Vitamin A deficiency has become a public health problem in more than half of all countries, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia, especially affecting young children and pregnant women in low-income countries.
This can be a serious problem for children because a lack of vitamin A causes severe visual impairment and blindness; it also increases the risk of serious illness, and even death, significantly.
Children can be at risk from common childhood infections such as diarrheal diseases and measles.
-Poor eye health
A vitamin A deficiency can lead to thickening of the cornea and eventually even blindness. Keratomalacia, a condition that stems from a severe vitamin A deficiency, is a bilateral condition, meaning it generally affects both eyes.
This type of deficiency can be dietary, meaning your daily intake of the vitamin, or metabolic, meaning your body’s ability to absorb it. The first symptoms of keratomalacia can include night blindness and extreme dryness of the eyes.
Your vision may be followed by wrinkles, cloudiness, and a softening of the corneas. If the corneas continue to soften, without proper care and treatment, this can lead to infected corneas, a rupture, or degenerative changes in the tissues; all of this can cause blindness.
-Premature skin damage
Vitamin A deficiency will lead to drying, flaking, and follicular thickening of the skin. Keratinization of the skin, when epithelial cells lose their moisture and become hard and dry, can occur on the mucous membranes of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts.
Respiratory infections can occur because the body’s immunity is affected by a lack of vitamin A.
The younger the patient, the more severe the effects can be. Stunted growth and infections are common among children, and the death rate can exceed 50% in children with severe vitamin A deficiency.
-At the risk of pregnancy
For pregnant women, the demand for vitamin A is highest during the last trimester; most of the time, women are deficient in vitamin A during this time.
A pregnant woman can suffer from night blindness if her vitamin A intake is not enough.
The best sources to access the benefits of vitamin A
Here are some of the best sources of vitamin A. For more information on the source of vitamin A, check out my list of the best sources of vitamin A benefits.
• Beef liver : 3 ounces: 14,363 IU (almost 3 times the DV)
• Carrots: 1 cup sliced raw: 21,384 IU (over 100% DV)
• Sweetpotato: 1 whole: 18,443 IU (more than 100% DV)
• Kale: 1 cup, chopped: 6,693 IU (over 100% DV)
• Spinach : 1 cup raw: 2,813 IU (56% DV)
• Romaine lettuce: 1 cup, shredded: 4,094 IU (82% DV)
• Apricots: 1 fruit: 674 IU (13% DV)
• Broccoli: 1 cup raw: 567 IU (11% DV)
• Butter: 1 tablespoon: 355 IU (7% DV)
• Eggs: 1 extra-large: 302 IU (6% DV)
• Winter squash: 1 cup, cubes: 514 IU (10% SV)
• Cantaloupe melon: 1 medium wedge: 2,334 IU (47% DV)
• Sweet red bell peppers: 1 cup, minced: 4,665 IU (93% DV)
• Tuna : 3-ounce fillet: 2,142 IU (43% DV)
• Mango: 1 cup in pieces: 1,785 IU (36% DV)
Recommended daily intake of vitamin A
Most people get enough vitamin A from their diet, but if you have a vitamin A deficiency, then your doctor may suggest vitamin A supplements.
People with illnesses, such as digestive disorders or very poor diets, may need a supplement to Get your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
By including the vitamin A you get from the food and supplements you are taking, the recommended dietary allowance (or RDA) for vitamin A is as follows:
• 1-3 years: 300 mcg / day
• 4-8 years: 400 mcg/day
• 9-13 years: 600 mcg / day
• 14 years and older: 700 mcg/day
• When pregnant: 750-770 mcg / day
• When breastfeeding: 1,200-1,300 mcg / day
• 14 years of age and older: 900 mcg/day
Possible Side Effects of Vitamin A Benefits
High doses of vitamin A can do more harm than good. Consuming too much vitamin A from supplementation alone, or in combination with other antioxidants, has been associated with birth defects, lower bone density, and liver problems.
• When the consumption of this vitamin is exceeded, people may experience various symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, irritability, vomiting, and even hair loss.
If you are taking vitamin A supplements, be sure to take lower doses, use supplements from food sources, and consult your doctor.
People who drink heavily or have kidney or liver disease should also not take vitamin A supplements without consulting a doctor.
• Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include dry skin, joint pain, vomiting, headaches, and confusion. Vitamin A supplements can interact with some birth control pills, blood thinners (like Coumadin), acne medications (like Accutane), cancer treatments, and many other drugs.
• If you take any medications, be sure to ask your doctor if vitamin A supplements are safe. While the toxicity of vitamin A can be a problem for our health, it comes from the improper use of supplements that contain retinoids (vitamin A), not from our diet.
Simply put, foods do not contain enough preformed vitamin A to expose us to amounts that produce toxicity, so if you are using supplements that contain vitamin A, research the amount of vitamin A present and make sure it is appropriate for your gender and age.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and therefore must be consumed with fat for optimal absorption;
Sufficient dietary protein intake is required for the manufacture of these binding proteins, so inadequate protein intake can result in vitamin A deficiency.
Studies have shown that absorption, metabolism, hepatic release, transport, and tissue utilization of vitamin A benefits may depend, in part, on adequate zinc status;
An animal study found that a zinc deficiency could both precipitate the health consequences associated with zinc deficiency and, through its control functions, impose a secondary vitamin A deficiency.
Zinc deficiency could also limit the Health and nutritional effect of vitamin A interventions in problems such as night blindness.
Recent studies suggest that the results of a vitamin D deficiency may be worsened by high supplemental vitamin A intake.
These studies reveal that when blood levels of vitamin D fall below 50 nanomoles per liter, a higher supplemental vitamin A intake can make problems related to this vitamin D deficiency worse, such as bone health.
When vitamin A and D levels are sufficient, research has shown that they work together to help your body metabolize vitamins.