What is Vitamin A Good For?
October 20, 2020
Vitamin A isn’t just one vitamin. It’s actually a group of fat-soluble compounds essential for health and wellness. Your body cannot make Vitamin A so it must be obtained from your diet. There are two forms of Vitamin A: 1) preformed Vitamin A from animal sources and; 2) provitamin A carotenoids from plant sources.
Preformed Vitamin A is the active form your body can use and contains the compounds retinol and retinal. Preformed Vitamin A is found in meat, fish, poultry and dairy.
Provitamin A carotenoids are the inactive form found in plants like fruits and vegetables that need to be converted to the active form in your body. Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are examples of provitamin A carotenoids.
What is Vitamin A Good For?
- Vision. Healthy eyesight is what Vitamin A is most known for. Without Vitamin A, rhodopsin, the protein that absorbs light, does not get produced. This could lead to serious issues with nighttime vision. Vitamin A is important for aging eyes as well.
- Supports a healthy immune system. Along with Vitamin D, Vitamin A plays a key role in keeping your defenses strong so you can fight whatever comes your way. Vitamin A is also involved in the production of white blood cells for ongoing good health.
- Keeps skin glowing. You’ve likely heard of retinoids. Topically retinoids help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, ease roughness and soften sun damage.
- Supports strong bones. Although Calcium and Vitamin D are vital to strong bones, a Vitamin A deficiency has been associated with poor bone health.
- Fosters growth and reproduction. Vitamin A is important for a healthy reproductive system in men and women.
- Keeps nasal linings healthy.
Foods with Vitamin A
Beef liver is one of the richest sources of Vitamin A. Other sources include cod liver oil, herring, carrots, black eyed peas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomato juice, and dried apricots to name a few.
What is Recommended Daily Amount of Vitamin A?
In general, the recommended daily amount is 900 mcg. for males and 700 mcg. for females. But be sure to speak with your healthcare practitioner first as it is possible to get too much Vitamin A if supplementing.
Too Much Vitamin A
Too much of a good thing can be not-so-good. Since Vitamin A is fat soluble, it gets stored in your body. Consuming too much preformed Vitamin A can lead to nausea, blurred vision, headaches and dizziness. Provitamin A from plants doesn’t have the same risks, but always proceed with caution.
The best way to make sure you’re getting the right amount is to consume Vitamin A-rich foods as part of your everyday diet.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.