Is Vitamin A Good For You: Health benefits and risks

Is Vitamin A Good For You: Health benefits and risks

Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the name for a group of fat-soluble retinoids. Vitamin A is important for eyesight, fertility, enhancing immune function, and forming and maintaining the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. It can act as a hormone within the body. Here are the three main types of vitamin A include the following:

  • Retinol.
  • Retinal.
  • Retinyl esters.

Vitamin A is available in the human diet in two forms: the formed vitamin A, which consists of retinol, and the retinol ester, the two are obtained from animal sources, and the carotenoid provitamin A, which is the most important type of beta-carotene, and it can be obtained from plant sources.

More about Sources of vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A sources

Vitamin A can be obtained from animal and plant sources. Foods rich in vitamin A and natural sources of vitamin A include:

  • Breakfast cereal fortified with vitamin A.
  • Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, carrots, squash, red peppers, and sweet potatoes.
  • Fish oil.
  • Eggs.
  • Legumes, especially lentils and beans.
  • Milk and cheese.
  • Plants with dark green leaves such as spinach and broccoli.
  • Organ meats such as liver.
  • Fatty fish such as tuna.

Is Vitamin A Good For You

Vitamin A has many health benefits, and some of these benefits can include:

Benefits of Vitamin A for Diabetes: Getting adequate amounts of vitamin A can help treat diabetes, as retinoic acid, which is derived in the body from vitamin A, is one of the acids that help blood sugar.

Benefits of vitamin A to prevent cancer: It was found that there is a correlation between a lower risk of cancer, including colon cancer, by eating adequate amounts of vitamin A that the body gets from plant sources, but beta-carotene supplementation did not have the same results.

Benefits of vitamin A for the eye: Vitamin A is necessary to protect the eye from night blindness and deterioration in eye health associated with age, such as macular degeneration, which is a major cause of vision loss, and the causes of macular degeneration are usually not known, but it can be Oxidative stress plays a role, so carotenoids that have antioxidant properties may help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

The benefits of vitamin A to reduce measles symptoms: The measles of the main causes of death in developing countries, and is a vitamin A deficiency of risk factors that increase the severity of measles, so it is advisable to give children over the age of years with measles doses of vitamin A for two days in areas infested Measles.

Benefits of vitamin A for the skin: Vitamin A enhances the production of natural oils in the body, which helps maintain skin moisture, and one of the benefits of vitamin A for hair is to maintain its moisture and the rate of oil production in the scalp. One of the benefits of vitamin A for the face is that it reduces the risk of acne, as it helps balance the secretion of oils in the skin, which prevents their accumulation in hair follicles and causing pimples and pimples, and vitamin A deficiency leads to the accumulation of keratin, which leads to the accumulation of dead cells and clogging of hair follicles.

Benefits of vitamin A for immunity: Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining the strength of the immune system, and supports it to perform its functions, and among the parts that increase the strength of its immunity are the mucous barriers in the eyes, lungs, intestines, and genitals. In addition, it contributes to the production of white blood cells.

Benefits of vitamin A for bones: One of the benefits of vitamin A for bones are that it maintains them with age, as it is necessary for bone growth and development.

Benefits of vitamin A for growth and reproduction: Vitamin A is necessary to maintain the health of the reproductive system in men and women, and also promotes the normal growth and development of fetuses during pregnancy, so vitamin A for pregnant women is necessary, but excessive intake during pregnancy can be harmful to the child and may lead to malformations congenital

Vitamin A deficiency risks

Vitamin A deficiency can affect a wide range of body functions, which can lead to the development of many problems, including:

  • Increased risk of infections, especially in the abdomen, chest, and throat.
  • Fertility problems.
  • Delayed growth in children.
  • night blindness;
  • Follicular hyperkeratosis, which causes the skin to dry out and thicken.
  • Increased risk of bone fractures.

Recommended daily dose of vitamin A

The recommended doses of vitamin A to take from vitamin A pills by age group include:

  • Adolescent and adult doses: Daily doses of vitamin A for adults 14 years of age and older include:
    • Females: 700 mcg per day. For women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the recommended daily dose is 1300 mcg.
    • Males: 900 micrograms daily.
  • Child Dosages: Vitamin A dosages for children aged 1 to 13 years include:
    • 1-3 years old: 300 mcg daily.
    • 4-8 years old: 400 mcg daily.
    • Ages 9-13 years: 600 micrograms daily.
  • Infant Dosages: Recommended infant doses of vitamin A include:
    • Age 0-6 months: 400 mcg daily.
    • Age 7-12 months: 500 mcg daily.

Groups at risk of vitamin A deficiency

Categories that may be at risk of vitamin A deficiency include:

  • Young children and infants in developing countries: Mother’s milk does not contain enough vitamin A to meet the child's needs during the first six months of his life, and women with vitamin A deficiency do not have breast milk, and vitamin A levels are sufficient to meet the recommended needs of the child. Therefore, it is recommended to give doses of vitamin A to children who are breastfed only.

 After cessation of breastfeeding in developing countries, xerophthalmia is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency that helps identify a child with vitamin A deficiency in these countries.

  • Premature Babies: This category of babies does not have enough vitamin A stores in the liver at birth, and vitamin A deficiency can increase their risk of developing chronic lung, eye, and digestive diseases.
  • People with cystic fibrosis: Most people with cystic fibrosis suffer from pancreatic insufficiency, which increases the risk of vitamin A deficiency due to the difficulty of absorbing fats in their bodies, but the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency can be relieved and treated in this category through Treatments, a pancreas transplant, a better diet, and the use of vitamin A medications known as supplements.
  • Pregnant and lactating women in developing countries: Pregnant and lactating women need higher levels of vitamin A to help the fetus grow, maintain body tissues, and support metabolism during pregnancy and lactation, and xerophthalmia is a common symptom of vitamin A deficiency in this group in countries. developing, in addition to a high rate of susceptibility to disease, death, and anemia.

Dangers of Excessive Vitamin A Consumption

Excessive consumption of vitamin A can be toxic, and from the damages of vitamin A when its levels are increased, we mention the following:

·        brittle nails.

·        hair loss;

·        Vision changes.

·        Double vision in young children.

·        Increase hair oils.

·        Fetal abnormalities in pregnant women.

·        Vomiting.

·        Soft spots on the skull in children.

·        Changes in alertness, such as feeling sleepy and tired.

·        Nausea.

·    Skin changes such as cracking, yellowing, itching, and sensitivity to sunlight.

·        Liver disease in case of exposure to excessive doses.

·        Headaches.

·        Increased incidence of gum disease.

·        decreased appetite;

·        dizziness;

·        Difficulty gaining weight.

·        Swollen fontanelles in children.

Acne medications such as isotretinoin are derived from vitamin A, so people who use these medications should not consume too much vitamin A or vitamin A pills. A healthy diet usually provides enough vitamin A, which means that there is no need to take vitamin A supplements.