Vitamin A Definition
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutritional organic compound. It’s also referred to as retinol.
Vitamin A Benefits
Retinol has various health and nutritional benefits which include;
Health Benefits of Retinol
- Retinoic acid helps in boosting the body’s immune system.
- Promotes healthy growth and reproduction.
- It helps with improving eyesight and reducing the risk of night blindness.
- Retinol helps in the treatment of measles.
Nutritional Benefits of Retinol
- It helps keep the mouth healthy and development of the tooth.
- It helps in maintaining good skin health and reducing acne.
- Promotes and develops strong bones
Low retinol levels are as a result of low intake of vitamin A foods, poor fat absorption and liver problems. But then the big question arises, what are the recommended intake levels of retinoic acid? According to the dietary reference, adult men should take about 1,500 micrograms of retinol a day. Its deficiency can result in health and nutritional decline such as;
- May result in blindness
- Slow wound healing process.
- It can increase the risk of fatal diseases; measles.
- Generally an impaired immune system.
- Drying and scaling of the skin.
Vitamin A High Foods
Retinol is present in two principal forms:
- Preformed vitamin A/Vitamin A1,/ Retinol; It is present in animal food sources such as oily fish, liver, salmon, and cheese. Retinol vitamin A can also be commercially produced and offered as vitamin supplements.
- Provitamin A; The human body converts carotenoids present in plants to provitamin A. Plants with high carotenoids concentration include; sweet potato, kales, carrot, and broccoli leaf. Fruits such as mango, pink or red grapefruit, papaya, and watermelon are also sources of provitamin A.
Retinol and Weight Loss
Vitamin A is indirectly involved in weight loss i.e. you just don’t take retinol supplements to lose weight. Rather, foods rich in retinol provide support to organs responsible for weight loss(metabolism). It is therefore advisable to incorporate retinol in your work out plan to lose weight faster.
Vitamin A and Hair Loss
Retinol helps skin glands produce sebum which moisturizes the head scalp and helps protect the skin. Deficiency in retinol may result in hair loss due to low sebum production. Excess retinol levels(above 3,000 micrograms per day) can also lead to hair loss. Therefore keep your retinol levels at the correct levels i.e. 700-900 micrograms per day for people aged 14 and above.
Retinol and Acne
Skin acne is caused by the free radical movement that results in hair follicles become filled with oil and dead skin cells. According to researchers, the retinol form of vitamin A can help treat skin acne due to its antioxidant properties. Retinol helps in treating acne by decreasing inflammation of acne ‘wounds’, increasing the growth of skin cells and variation of sebum production effectively.
Vitamin A Toxicity
This a health condition that occurs as a result of excessive intake of preformed vitamin A from liver, supplements, and medication. Excess retinol levels range above 3000 micro-grams per day. The medical term for this toxicity is hypervitaminosis.
Signs and symptoms of hypervitaminosis
- Abnormal softening of the skull bone
- Blurred and double vision among children.
- Poor weight gain
- Skin and hair changes.
- bulging eyeballs among children.
- Anorexia headache.
Hypervitaminosis can be prevented by reducing the intake of supplements and foods whose retinol levels are beyond the recommended.
Vitamin A Joint Pain
Joint pain is a symptom associated with arthritis. However, chronic retinol toxicity may result in joint pain. Joint pain can also be a result of vitamin D deficiency in the body.
Vitamin A supplements are medicinal products that contain a high concentration of retinol and are used to restore vitamin A levels in deficiency patients. Health experts advise on retinol supplementation for children age 6-15 months and pregnant women only in areas prone to retinol deficiency to help with kid’s general growth and vision. An example of a retinol dietary supplement is retinyl acetate.
Most retinol is stored in the liver with a small percentage reserved in the lungs and kidney. Because of this reason, preformed vitamin A has mainly concentrated in the animal’s liver thus the high vitamin concentration in an animal’s liver.
Retinol and Eggs
Whole eggs contain lots of different nutrients These nutrients include vitamins, proteins fats, and even minerals. One whole egg has 6% of the daily recommended dietary allowance(RDA) of retinol. Egg yolks have vitamin A lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants that protect the eyes from sunlight and night blindness. However, nutrition properties in eggs vary depending on the type of feeds a hen took.
Vitamin A and Pregnancy
Retinol is essential for a baby’s embryonic growth and development of body parts. Vitamin A is important for pregnant women since it helps with the infant’s development, however, pregnant women should not take vitamin A supplement unless under doctors’ instructions. Pregnant women require approximately 770 micrograms of retinol per day. Breastfeeding women, on the other hand, require about 1250 micrograms of retinol per day.
Rda For Retinol
RDA is the acronym to Recommended Dietary Allowances and illustrates the nutrient levels required by the body daily. The RDA of vitamin A varies between different people in society. Adult men have slight higher intakes (649 mcg) than adult women (580 mcg)
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