Vitamin A is an extremely essential Vitamin which is found in many plant foods and animal products. In some cases, Vitamin deficiency could lead on to childhood blindness. It often works as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radicals' damage. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in bone formation and maintenance of the many vital organs like the guts, lungs and kidneys.
There are two kinds of vitamin A
-Preformed Vitamin A (retinal A) contained in animal products, such as fortified milk, eggs, meat, cheese and liver, cream, and kidney.
-Provitamin A is found in plant-based products like fruits and vegetables. The foremost common type of Provitamin A is beta carotene. Beta carotene produces dark pigment in plants. Beta carotene is found in pink grapefruits, apricot, carrots pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.
These compounds are converted into active forms in your body. For example, beta-carotene is converted into retinol (the active form of vitamin A) in the small intestine.
Vitamin A has many functions and benefits
Retinal creates the pigment, retina of eyes. It is important for eye health good vision, especially for night-sight.
The study found that a prime level of antioxidants like vitamin A will reduce the developing age-related muscular degeneration by 25%. Age-related muscular degeneration is that the common explanation for loss of vision.
Vitamin A help grows and repair skin.
Other function of vitamin A includes the formation and maintenance of teeth bone and soft tissue, white blood cells, the immune system, and the mucus membrane.
Here are 6 important health benefits of vitamin A
1. Vitamin A protects from Night Blindness and Age-Related Muscular Degeneration
Vitamin A is important for preserving eyesight.
The vitamin is required to convert the light that hits the eye into an electrical signal which will be sent to the human brain.
One among the primary symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are nyctalopia (1)
Night blindness occurs in people with vitamin A deficiency, because the vitamin A may be a major component of the pigment rhodopsin.
Rhodopsin is found within the retina of human eye and very sensitive to light.
People with this condition can still see normally during the day but have reduced vision darkly as their eyes struggle to select up light at lower levels.
In addition to preventing nyctalopia, eating adequate amounts of beta-carotene may help slow the decline in eyesight that some people experience as they age. (2)
Age-related degeneration (AMD) is the leading explanation for blindness within the developed world. Though its exact cause is unknown, it’s thought to be the result of cellular damage to the retina, due to oxidative stress. (3)
The Age-Related disease Study found that giving people over the age of fifty with some eyesight degeneration an antioxidant supplement (including beta-carotene) reduced their risk of developing advanced degeneration by 25%. (4)
However, one among the recent Cochrane review found that beta-carotene supplements alone won’t prevent or delay the decline in eyesight caused by AMD. (5)
2. Vitamin A Aids in Healthy Growth and Reproduction
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining a healthy reproductive system in both men and women, and for the normal growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy.
Similarly, animal studies have shown that vitamin A deficiency in females can affect reproductive function, reduce egg quality, and affect the implantation of an egg into the uterus (8).
In pregnant women, vitamin A is involved in the growth and development of many major organs and structures of the unborn child, including the skeleton, nervous system, heart, kidneys, eyes, lungs, and pancreas.
Therefore, many health authorities have advised women to avoid foods containing concentrated amounts of vitamin A, and vitamin A supplements, during pregnancy.
3. Vitamin A and Healthy Immune System
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in supporting our body's natural defenses.
This includes mucous barriers within the eyes, lungs, intestines, and genitals that help trap bacteria and other infectious agents.
It is also involved in the production and performance of white blood cells, which help trap and purify bacteria and other pathogens from the bloodstream.
In fact, in countries where infections like measles and malaria are common, correcting vitamin A deficiency in children reduces the danger of dying from these diseases (13).
4. Proper Intake of Vitamin A Reduces Your Risk of Acne
Acne may be a chronic inflammatory skin condition.
People with this condition develop sore spots and blackheads, often on the face, back, and chest.
The bleeding occurs when the sebaceous glands are crammed with dead skin and oils. These glands are found within the hair follicles on your skin and produce sebum, an oily waxy substance that keeps your skin smooth and waterproof.
Although spots in face and other parts of body are harmless, acne can severely affect people's psychological state and cause low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression (14).
The exact role of vitamin A within the development and treatment of acne remains unclear (15).
This will increase the danger of acne to get rid of dead skin cells from your hair follicles, which may cause a blockage.
Many vitamin A-based acne medications are now available with a prescription.
5. May Lower Your Risk of Certain Cancers
In observational studies, greater Vitamin A intake within the sort of beta-carotene is related to a lower risk of certain sorts of cancer, including Hodgkin's lymphoma, also as cervical, lung, and bladder cancer (22, 23, 24, 25).
Similarly, vitamin A supplements haven't shown equivalent beneficial effects (28).
At now, the connection between your vitamin A levels and your cancer risk remains not fully understood.
However, current evidence suggests that getting adequate vitamin A, especially from plants, is vital for healthy cell division and should reduce the danger of certain sorts of cancer (32).
Excess is Always Too Risky
Too little or too much vitamin A can adversely affect your health.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that accumulates in the body. This means that excessive intake can lead to poisoning.
Hypervitaminosis A is caused by the intake of too much predisposing vitamin A or a supplement containing this vitamin.
Symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, headaches, pain, and even death.
While this may be due to over consolidation from the diet, it is rare compared to the over the consolidation of supplements and medications.
In addition, eating large amounts of vitamin-A in its vegetative form carries the same risks, as its conversion to the active form in your body is regulated (33).