Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for human health. It can be found in a variety of foods like egg yolks, butter, carrots, and dark leafy greens. Vitamin A is vital for many functions in your body, including vision, reproduction, and immune function. Deficiencies in vitamin A can lead to a number of problems like night blindness, dry eyes, and hair loss. In pregnant women, a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to birth defects (1). Most people who eat a well-balanced diet don't need to take a vitamin A supplement. However, some people may need to take a supplement, including those who have certain medical conditions, such as malabsorption syndrome, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You will learn everything you need to know about vitamin A, including its benefits, deficiency, and food sources right here.
Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is found naturally in many foods. The richest sources are animal sources, such as liver and egg yolks, as well as butter and cream, which all contain the preformed vitamin A known as retinol. Plant sources like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and cantaloupe, contain carotenoids, which are converted to retinol by your body. Vitamin A can also be found in fortified dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese, as well as certain breakfast cereals. It is important to note that your body absorbs plant-based sources of vitamin A like beta-carotene more easily than animal sources. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your daily diet contains a minimum of one vitamin A source in order to maintain a healthy body.
Vitamin A benefits
Here is a list of vitamin A benefits for various parts of your body.
1. Vitamin A for Eyes
Vitamin A is important for keeping the eyes healthy. It is used in the production of rhodopsin, a light-sensitive pigment found in the retina (2). It helps protect your eyes from damage caused by UV rays. Low levels of vitamin A can cause night blindness, dry eyes, and poor vision. Treatment for vitamin A deficiency involves taking vitamin A supplements as well as eating foods that are rich in vitamin A. These include liver, butter, and leafy green vegetables, as well as fortified foods. In some cases, medical treatment such as corneal surgery may be necessary.
2: Vitamin A for Hair
Vitamin A is known to promote healthy hair growth and scalp health too. This vitamin helps the hair follicles remain healthy by providing them with nourishment, which in turn helps prevent dry, brittle hair and split ends. Vitamin A also helps lubricate your scalp and hair, keeping it hydrated and healthy at all times. Not only that, but vitamin A also aids in regulating the production of sebum - an oily substance that helps keep hair follicles well nourished. The sebum also helps form a protective barrier around your scalp, which keeps it healthy and helps prevent dandruff.
Also Read - Home remedies for hair fall
3. Vitamin A for Skin
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the healthy, youthful-looking skin of your dreams. This vitamin helps enhance skin elasticity, which in turn aids in reducing the presence of fine lines and wrinkles It also helps encourage cell turnover, which decreases the presence of imperfections such as acne. Moreover, vitamin A has the ability to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated, which ultimately makes it look more plump and youthful. The best way to ensure that your body has enough vitamin A is by eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. For some people, taking a vitamin A supplement may also be beneficial.
4. Vitamin A for Kids
Vitamin A is crucial for children’s early growth and development. It helps support vision, bone growth, and immune system health, as well as the normal development of organs and tissues. Vitamin A is also important for the production of red blood cells, which ensures that children have sufficient oxygen flowing through their bodies. Vitamin A deficiency can cause a number of problems in children, including poor vision, growth delays, infections, and anaemia. Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as other sources of vitamin A, such as eggs, butter, etc., can make sure that children are getting enough of this nutrient (3).
5. Other Health Benefits of Vitamin A
- Vision: Vitamin A is essential for keeping your eyes healthy and for maintaining good vision. It helps produce a light-sensitive pigment in the retina and helps protect your eyes from damage caused by UV radiation.
- Bones: Vitamin A supports bone health by aiding in the production of collagen, which strengthens your bones.
- Reproduction: Vitamin A can also effectively support both male and female reproduction. In women, it helps regulate hormone levels and helps with the production of eggs. In men, it helps with the development of mature sperm (4).
Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency
Below are some common symptoms noticed of vitamin A deficiency that you need to be aware of (5).
- Night blindness: Night blindness is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency. It is characterised by difficulty seeing in dim light or in the dark.
- Dry eyes: Vitamin A is necessary for keeping your eyes moist and lubricated and a deficiency of the same can cause dry eyes.
- Poor skin health: Vitamin A helps keep your skin looking youthful and its deficiency can lead to dry skin, acne, and wrinkles.
- Dry and damaged hair: Vitamin A deficiency can cause dry, brittle hair and split ends.
- Weak immune system: Vitamin A is important for healthy immune function and a deficiency of which can weaken the immune system and make it more susceptible to illness.
Recommended Dosage For Vitamin A
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults for vitamin A is 700 mcg for women and 900 mcg for men. Pregnant women should aim for 770 mcg and breastfeeding women for 1,300mcg. The amounts of vitamin A obtained from food alone are sufficient for most people (6). However, people with certain medical conditions like malabsorption syndromes may need to take vitamin A supplements. It is recommended to talk to an expert before taking any supplements.
#FittifyTip - If you wish to try some safe supplements, here are some that we'd like to suggest.
- Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Daily Energy Boost Multi Vitamins & Minerals: These vitamin gummies are enriched with rich nutrients like vitamins A, C, and zinc thus bridging that nutrition gap in your diet with a dose of tasty and healthy gummies.
- Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Eye Health: These vitamin C and vitamin E-infused gummies are here to help you promote good eyesight and vision. You can simply pop one of the gummies each day and take a step towards a healthier life.
- Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Hair Skin and Nail Health: These gummies are packed with all the better for you to have a holistic diet plan that helps control hair loss and build collagen.
Conclusion For Vitamin A Benefits
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that is needed for a number of functions in your body. So make sure you start including at least once vitamin A food in all your meals each day consistently to see some results. Vitamin A deficiency can also result in a few illnesses, all of which we've mentioned above for you. Thus, introducing your body to a vitamin A source every day will naturally help you keep the levels normal. Also, if you do feel that your vitamin A levels are dropping and just eating natural foods isn't helping, consult a doctor immediately and get some treatments done.
FAQs About Vitamin A Benefits
Who should not take vitamin A?
Pregnant women must avoid taking too much-preformed vitamin A as it can cause birth defects in their baby like an abnormal skull, eyes, heart, and lungs. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure to not take a high-dose supplement of vitamin A.
Who is at risk for vitamin A deficiency?
Infants, children, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are usually at the highest risk of developing a vitamin A deficiency. It is the leading cause of blindness in children across the world.
Can I take vitamin A every day?
You should have a vitamin A source in all your meals so that you get this vitamin through natural foods. Any vitamin A that your body doesn't need will immediately be stored for future use. So it's not really needed every day but can be introduced into your diet.
How much vitamin A is safe?