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Benefits of Vitamin A And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2024

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Vitamin A is one of the basic vitamins that is absolutely essential for the human body. It is required for the overall health of an individual. You can always go for the natural forms of these vitamins found in plants or animals. This fat-soluble vitamin is also easy for the body to digest. The importance of this vitamin has been recognized for years now. Among the many benefits you can find, this vitamin is crucial for eye health. It also makes sure that your teeth and bones remain strong. The antioxidant property also keeps the skin healthy and free of acne. It improves the immune system and increases the red blood cell productions as well. Ageing is delayed as the free radical formation is halted by this vitamin. Urinary tract infection can also be treated with fruits that have more amount of Vitamin A. The bodily functions are kept working in line by having vitamin A in abundance and from the right sources daily.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that has antioxidants and found in fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. It enhances the vision, supports the immune system and assists in the functioning of the organs. The intake of this vitamin changes with the age group. It fights free radical formation that causes aging and also deadly diseases like cancer. Retinol and carotenoids are the two substances found in vitamin A.

Nutritional Value of Vitamin A

According to the RDA recommendations, 700 for women and 900 for men is the recommended dosage. Orange fruits and vegetables have high amounts of this vitamin. They have a compound called beta-carotene that is found largely in carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli also have high amounts of it. Since the vitamin is fat based, the body can absorb them a lot more efficiently. The animal-based fats have more fats and so you can regulate the fat amount to retain the nutritional value by cooking it in olive oil or simply baking it.

Health Benefits of Vitamin A

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Vitamin A

Prevents cancer

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases we have encountered and cures are not here yet. It is crucial for us to take preventive methods against this disease. A study conducted at the University of York showed that increasing the intake of Vitamin A can treat many forms of cancer. This is possible due to the ability of the vitamin to control the growth of the malignant cells. It is still not advisable to take as many supplements. Consulting a doctor and regulating your diet should be the first step.

Builds immune system

Vitamin A has numerous health benefits, especially for children. Vitamin A supports the safe growth of fetal thus increasing the mortality rate. Vitamin A deficiencies make children more prone to measles and diarrhoea. It could also lead to blindness. If you look at the list of immunity-boosting foods in kids and adults, you can find foods with more Vitamin A in them at the top.

Supports bodily functions

Actions related to the central nervous system and other physiological functions require vitamin A. It is also needed for regulation of haemoglobin production. Even sperm cells need vitamin A intake. The liver, brain, stomach all need this vitamin. Proper digestion is vital to maintaining a strong immune system. The first step would be to have a stable metabolism which can be improved with more vitamin A intake.

Delays signs of Ageing

The antioxidant property that is present in Vitamin A is responsible for this. It prevents the damage that free radicals do to the skin. Foods with this vitamin also help with skin renewal. The retinoids that are a type of this vitamin keep wrinkles away. It does so by producing more collagen thus making a person appear younger. All you have to do is increase your intake of this vitamin.

Improvement in vision

It is not just to have a clear vision, this vitamin also helps the eyes to be healthier. The distinction between dark and light is made more apparent due to this vitamin. Eye disorders are also prevented. A deficiency in vitamin A can affect both children, adults or older individuals. A few of the possible disorders due to inadequate vitamin A are cataracts, glaucoma, and night blindness.

Makes the bones stronger

Vitamin A is very important for growing children and adults recovering from fractures. This essential vitamin makes the bones and the teeth stronger. As children grow, they need the right vitamins to have a healthy growth. This vitamin aids in the formation of a layer. It is a hard material that is just below the teeth which makes it much stronger.

Prevents Urinary Stones

With our lifestyle today, we do not have the perfect diet and so we miss out on many of the essential nutrients. Urinary stones are an issue that is often seen in many patients. It prevents the formation of calcium phosphate. This vitamin helps in keeping the urinary tract lining in shape. This, in turn, reduces the chances of stones.

Promotes Muscle Growth

Along with keeping the bones in shape, it also ensures that the muscle growth happens with no problems. This is particularly important for children, teens, and older individuals. Having foods that have more Vitamin A prevents muscle dystrophy.

Reduces acne

Acne is caused due to sebum production in the skin. The excess oil attracts dust leading to bacterial growth. Vitamin A cuts down the production of sebum and also makes sure that the protective layers of the skin are intact. This will ensure that the skin remains healthy and free of acne. Having foods with vitamin A is needed to clear the toxins and cleanse the body. The antioxidant property is responsible for this.

Antioxidant Capabilities

When oxidation happens in the body, it leads to damage in cells. This chemical reaction is the cause for most of the conditions including cancer, loss of eyesight and low immunity. It can be prevented with the help of vitamin A. It lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well.

Red blood cell production

Vitamin A promotes the stem cells to produce more red blood cells. A healthy body needs to have a regular production of these cells to stay healthy and fit. Iron is the mineral that transports the oxygen throughout the body. Iron is present in the red blood cells and so this makes vitamin A consumption, a must.

Prevents Inflammation

This vitamin makes sure that the cells do not become overactive as this is what leads to food allergies and inflammation. Increasing the intake of vitamin A can reduce the risk of certain food allergies It can prevent their dangerous reactions too. Reducing inflammation will also keep you safe from diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

Uses of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a nutrient that keeps the skin, eyes, and immune system in good shape. You can get adequate amounts from a diet with fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat. It is also necessary for proper fetal growth and preventing iron deficiencies. You can count on the antioxidant properties for keeping you safe from inflammation and allergy-related complications. There are studies that show its effects against certain types of cancer. The bone and the muscle structure is made stronger with an increase in vitamin C intake.

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Side-Effects & Allergies of Vitamin A

The first sign of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. When there is lack of this vitamin, the body is unable to perceive light in the same way. You can recover from it by having sufficient amount of vitamin A. You will also be susceptible to more diseases as the immune system becomes weaker. Goitre and thyroid issues will be next in line if there is iodine deficiency along with lack of this vitamin. Symptoms can also be seen on the skin. Lesions due to a condition called hyperkeratosis onsets due to the deficiency. Overdose may lead to redness of the skin, itchiness and osteoporosis.

Origin And Cultivation of Vitamin A

The first sign of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. When there is lack of this vitamin, the body is unable to perceive light in the same way. You can recover from it by having sufficient amount of vitamin A. You will also be susceptible to more diseases as the immune system becomes weaker. Goitre and thyroid issues will be next in line if there is iodine deficiency along with lack of this vitamin. Symptoms can also be seen on the skin. Lesions due to a condition called hyperkeratosis onsets due to the deficiency. Overdose may lead to redness of the skin, itchiness and osteoporosis.

References

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist
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