Vitamin A… perhaps we are not conscious enough about health benefits of vitamin a and either of how it works.
Vitamin A is a powerful support for forming and maintaining healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye.
As we have already seen,Vitamin A improves the vision, especially in low light. It may also be needed for reproduction and breast-feeding.
Studies revealed that it might be also efficient as an element preventing several forms of cancer.
For the moment it is quite evident that Vitamin A especially beta carotene can help to decrease your chances of certain cancers, heart disease or stroke. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, an essential nutrient. It has antioxidant activity, which helps to protect cells from damage.
Beta-carotene seems to be especially effective for women who are at high risk of getting breast cancer, including those with a family history and those who use alcohol excessively. It is considered helpful in reducing the risk of ovarian cancer in women after menopause as well.
Beta-carotene from the diet seems to help in preventing bronchitis and difficulty breathing in smokers.
*If you’re a smoker, do not take Vitamin A or beta carotene supplements! Studies have shown that taking these supplements can actually increase your chance of getting lung cancer. Studies are still being done but stay away from Vitamin A. Vitamin C is a better solution for smokers (and so is quitting smoking!)
Now we’ll see a few other lesser-known benefits of Vitamin A. I’m sure it could be interesting for many of us.
Vitamin A contributes to the creation of important proteins indispensable for our body. This is important because our muscles are made from proteins and proteins also affect your genes.
About proteins: Vitamin A benefits pregnant and nursing mothers. The retinoic acid form aids in protein and growth hormone development for the developing fetus. They also help in forming the heart, eyes, limbs and ears. Retinol is an active form of vitamin A.
Vitamin A was revealed as especially effective treating sun sensitivity in people who have a form of inherited blood disorder called “erythropoietic protoporphyria”.
Sources of Vitamin A
As we have already seen Vitamin A has several forms: carotenoids (precursors of vitamin A), retinol, lycopene as th most frequently mentioned.
“Carotenoids are dark-colored dyes (pigments) found in plant foods that can turn into a form of vitamin A. There are more than 500 known carotenoids. One such carotenoid is beta-carotene.
* Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to certain chronic diseases and play a role in the aging processes.
* Food sources of carotenoids such as beta-carotene may reduce the risk for cancer.
Vitamin A comes from animal sources: eggs, meat, fortified milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, cod, and halibut fish oil. However, all of these sources ( except for skim milk that has been fortified with Vitamin A )are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Sources of beta-carotene include:
* Bright yellow and orange fruits such as cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, and apricots
* Vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and winter squash
* Other sources of beta-carotene include broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables.
The more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta-carotene content. Vegetable sources of beta-carotene are fat- and cholesterol-free.”
Dose Vitamin A
The most recommendable source of essential vitamins is: healthy diet. Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, fortified dairy foods, legumes (dried beans), lentils, and whole grains.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine — Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Recommended Intakes for Individuals of Vitamin A:
“Infants (average intake)
* 0 – 6 months: 400 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
* 7 – 12 months: 500 mcg/day
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins is how much of each vitamin most people should get each day. The RDA for vitamins may be used as goals for each person.
* 1 – 3 years: 300 mcg/day
* 4 – 8 years: 400 mcg/day
* 9 – 13 years: 600 mcg/day
Adolescents and Adults (RDA)
* Males age 14 and older: 900 mcg/day
* Females age 14 and older: 700 mcg/day
How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age and gender. Other factors, such as pregnancy and your health, are also important. Ask your doctor what dose is best for you.”
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