Vitamin A ranks on Dean’s List of nutrition: It plays a vital role in vision and the development and growth of cells. It also keeps skin healthy, assists the immune system and may even help protect you from cancer.
Potential Healing Power:
- Keep immunity strong
- Promote healthy skin
- Protect against cancer
- Prevent vision problems associated with aging
- Protect against poor night vision
- Speed wound healing
Are There Any Side Effects?
But when it comes to this necessary nutrient, too much of a good thing can be bad. In fact, excess intake of vitamin A can be downright dangerous, and vitamin A supplements are rarely recommended. Pregnant women should not take high doses of vitamin A supplements; it can cause congenital disabilities in the baby. It is possible to get enough vitamin A in a balanced diet or by taking a multivitamin.
Where Does Vitamin A Come From?
Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet, preformed vitamin A and ProVitamin A. Preformed vitamin A are found in foods from animal sources, including dairy products, fish, and meat (especially liver). The second, By far the most important, ProVitamin A, is acquired from colorful plant foods such as mangoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach. The most common type of ProVitamin A in dietary supplement and foods rich in beta-carotene.
Recommended Doses and Timing For Vitamin A
For men, the recommended daily dose of preformed vitamin A is 900 micrograms whereas for women it is 700 micrograms for ages 14-51+ Years of age. It should be taken with meals.
Who’s at-risk for deficiency: Poverty-stricken people with extremely poor diets and individuals with certain diseases of the liver, pancreas or intestines.
Possible signs of deficiency include Night blindness, trouble focusing in changing light and glare sensitivity.
A Host of Benefits
Vitamin A has many virtues. It stimulates wound healing, especially in people taking steroid drugs. (Steroids are often prescribed to control inflammation, but this makes skin slower to heal). So if you’ve been wounded or severely burned, or are either planning for or recovering from surgery, it’s important to get plenty of vitamin A.
Vitamin A has also long been linked to a lower risk of certain eye diseases that can result from the natural aging process. Researchers found that people who fail to get enough vitamin A in their diets are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration, a condition that causes vision problems in many people over 60. Vitamin A is also important for younger people, as a deficiency can impair vision.
Vitamin A is intensely researched as a possible cancer fighter. Additionally, it may protect the lining of the lungs-one reason that it’s particularly helpful to smokers.
You can get vitamin A from your diet by eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene. The advantage of this form is that it’s turned into vitamin A inside your body is needed. In fact, many experts recommend that you concentrate on getting your vitamin A from produce such as sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, and cantaloupe because there’s little chance of toxicity.
Vitamin A Supplements
Vitamin A is available in dietary supplements, it can be found as a standalone supplement, but usually it comes in a combination of preformed and ProVitamin A. Many antioxidant supplements, protein powder for women and women’s daily multivitamin supplement also contain this vitamin in lower doses.