A vitamin is a fat soluble vitamin that is necessary to keep you healthy in many ways.
A vitamin plays an important role in eyesight, proper cell division and differentiation, and reproduction.
A vitamin fights with infection by aiding the body in the creation of white blood cells and helps in regulating the human immune system.
With A vitamin promotion of their surface linings, skin and mucous membranes are also affected.
This helps to provide a barrier for blocking out harmful bacteria and infections. Not only A vitamin is beneficial, but all the other vitamins are very helpful for maintaining a healthy body.
Sources of Vitamin A
Several sources of vitamin A compounds are present, the primary source being retinol. Retinol is a type of vitamin A which can be absorbed readily by the body. This is commonly referred as preformed vitamin A. This is found in whole milk and other animal products such as liver and eggs.
Carotenoid is a chemical compound which is another source of vitamin A. Carotenoids exist in certain plants which are dark pigments. Carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A by your body. Some of the carotenoids which are commonly consumed are lutein, beta carotene, alpha carotene and lycopene. Beta carotene is the most valuable source of retinol.
Beta carotene can be found in food sources such as carrotcarrot, oatmeal and peas. Carotenoids account for as much as 26 to 34 percent of the vitamin A taken in by the average adult.
The recommended dietary allowance of A vitamin intake for a male adult is 900 milligrams. 700 milligrams is the recommended dose for female adults. A vitamin deficiency can cause many side effects. A vitamin deficiency is not usually found to occur in countries such as United States.
Many children worldwide go blind per year due to lack of this important nutrient. Lack of vitamin A can cause the body not to fight infections as well as it should.
With lack of vitamin A, diarrhea and respiratory infections are common. If the problem is long term, little growth of bone development occurs. Night blindness is the first sign of vitamin A deficiency. If it happens, it is important to eat good amount of vitamin A rich foods.
Too much intake of A vitamin can be toxic. It can cause problems like abnormalities of the liver, reduced bone density and birth defects. Therefore it is important to monitor vitamin A intake and be sure that you are not getting too much or too little.
If you cannot consume enough vitamin A rich foods for any reason, you can take beta carotene supplements with the advice of the doctor.