Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that has a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function and healthy skin.
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, healthy skin, and more. Vitamin A- like all antioxidants- is involved in reducing inflammation through fighting free radical damage. Consuming a diet high in antioxidants is a way to naturally slow 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. Some of the best sources of Vitamin A include eggs, milk, liver, carrots, yellow or orange vegetables such as squash, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables.
A vitamin A deficiency will lead to night blindness and can eventually cause thickening of the cornea and blindness.
People at risk for a vitamin A deficiency include alcoholics who’s excess toxicity creates low vitamin A levels.
Also, people with long term malabsorption of fats will have a vitamin A deficiency.
The most common health problems that cause malabsorption of vitamin A include:
• Gluten sensitive
• Leaky gut
• Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis)
• Pancreatic disorders
Vitamin A also plays a role in maintaining strong bones, gene regulation, clear skin, cell differentiation, and immune function. It is found in two primary forms: beta carotene and active Vitamin A.
Beta carotene, which is found primarily in plants, needs to be converted to active vitamin A in order to be utilized by the body. The RDA for vitamin A is 900mcg/day for men and 700mcg/day for women. The current daily value is 5000 IU.
Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms — Some of the major deficiency symptoms of Vitamin A include keratinization of the skin, night blindness, a burning sensation or itching in the eyes, inflammation of the eyelids, xerophthalmia (dryness of the conjunctiva), dull lusterless hair, dandruff, brittle nails that break easily, sexual disorders, and precancerous changes in the body tissues. A deficiency of this vitamin may also result in fatigue, insomnia and depression.
Health Benefits of Vitamin A — Vitamin A is essential for a healthy body and it has many beneficial properties, including those listed below:
- Improves Immunity — Vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity against infections by increasing the lymphocytic responses against disease-causing antigens. It keeps the mucus membranes moist to ensure better immunity and also enhances the activity of white blood cells. It not only prevents the germs from entering your body, but also helps to fight the infections once the germs gain entry into the body system, thereby ensuring a double core of protection.
- Ensures Healthy Eyes — Vitamin A can aid in improving vision. It enables your eyes to adjust to light changes, keeps the eyes moist, and also improves night vision. It can prevent many conditions like dry eyes as well. It ensures a healthy retina and also prevents night blindness by increasing the adaptability of the human eye to both bright light and darkness. It ensures healthy and beautiful eyes. It is also thought to be beneficial for people suffering from glaucoma.
- Ensures Soft and Supple Skin — Vitamin A helps to keep your body free from free radicals and toxins, which might cause damage to your skin. It helps to keep the skin soft and supple by ensuring moisture retention, thereby preventing dryness, keratinization and skin conditions like psoriasis.
- Strong Bones and Teeth — This essential vitamin also strengthens the bones and teeth. Vitamin A helps in the formation of dentin, a layer of hard material just below the surface of the teeth, thereby enhancing its strength.
- Prevents Urinary Stones — Vitamin A prevents the formation of urinary calculi due to the formation of calcium phosphate. It also helps to keep the lining of the urinary tract in shape, thereby reducing the recurring chance of stones.
- Prevents Muscular Dystrophy — By keeping the bones healthy and by retaining their shape, Vitamin A plays an essential role in ensuring proper muscle growth in children and growing teens, thereby preventing the chances of developing muscular dystrophy.
- Prevents Acne — Vitamin A helps to cut down excess sebum production, thereby reducing the risk of acne. It also reinforces the protective tissues of the skin, thereby enhancing the overall health and vitality of the skin surface. It is essential for the proper maintenance of the skin tissues and mucus membranes. It flushes out the toxins from your body and cleanses the system by virtue of its antioxidant properties.
- Prevents Certain Cancers — Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant, which can prevent certain forms of cancer.
- Repair and Replacement of Old Tissues — Vitamin A plays an important role in replacing old and worn out tissues with new ones, as well as in keeping your bones and teeth strong.
- Slows the Aging Process — Vitamin A is famous for its wrinkle-eliminating properties, which can reduce age spots and fine lines. It can slow down the aging process by enhancing the overall health of the skin.
- Measles — Deficiency of vitamin A may cause measles in children. Intake of foods rich in this essential vitamin helps to relieve the fever and diarrhea caused by measles and aids in quick healing.
- Lowers Cholesterol — It lowers blood cholesterol levels, thereby protecting you against the serious risks of heart disease and stroke.
- Healthy Reproductive System — This Vitamin is widely known for aiding the health and functionality of the reproductive system.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.