Without vitamins in the body, it would be impossible to perform different processes essential for life. Similarly, if only one of them is missing, adverse effects are felt in the body. For example, vitamin A is necessary to take care of health in different ways.
In this article we will see what vitamin A is, the results of its presence in the body as well as the risks when consuming it.
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What is vitamin A?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, vitamin A is a fat-soluble element. That is, it can dissolve when it comes into contact with oils or fatty components. This vitamin is obtained through food. To have an adequate amount, it is necessary to consume meats, dairy products and vegetables.
There are two types of vitamin A: preformed and provitamin. Once introduced into the body through food, they are divided in order to fulfill different functions. That is why they are found in the body in the form of retinol, retinal or retinoic acid.
Benefits of vitamin A
Tatiana Zanin, nutritionist graduated from the Catholic University of Santos, highlights the benefits of consuming the adequate amount of vitamin A. These are the most outstanding ones.
Improves eyesight condition
In addition to protecting the eyes and their functioning from the natural deterioration they suffer, it also allows recovering their capacity. Vitamin A is one of the main responsible for the condition of eyesight. This is due to the function of retinol, which targets the pigments of the eyes.
The ability to see decreases in many people at night, due to the lack of illumination. But, with the right intake of vitamin A, it can help to see better at night.
Improves the skin
It is true that neither time nor its effects on the skin can be stopped. But thanks to vitamin A, it is possible to delay these inevitable results. The reason is that this vitamin is one of the main causes of skin regeneration
To begin with, it helps in the recovery of the cells that are suffering deterioration. In addition, it helps these cells to be able to form new ones. This way, even if some cells die, the skin will always have a way to replace them. Not to mention that collagen is produced with the help of vitamin A, increasing the flexibility of the skin.
Improves the defensive system
Many of the ailments the body suffers from are due to a weak defensive system. But just as the regeneration of skin cells allows it to maintain a good condition, the same applies to other areas of the body. With vitamin A, many of the body’s tissues are preserved in optimal conditions, keeping the body protected.
Reduces the effect of radicals
One of the most interesting properties of vitamin A is the antioxidant. Thanks to that it is able to successfully cope with free radical attacks. This is of great help because it prevents the oxidation of cells in the body
In addition, it helps to maintain good general health by keeping harmful elements out of the body.
Effects of vitamin A deficiency
The many benefits of vitamin A make its consumption necessary. But what happens to people who do not have adequate levels? They suffer the effects on their health. According to Mayo Clinic, some of the conditions that may appear are the following.
- Visual impairment. Some people have partially or temporarily lost the ability to see.
- Constant dryness. Another effect is dryness in areas such as the eyes. It can also appear in different areas of the skin.
- Blindness. This appears especially at night, or in places with poor lighting
- Confusion. Without good vision, it is very easy to get lost or even completely disoriented.
- Low defenses. Infections are more likely to occur due to the body’s inability to protect itself.
Sources of vitamin A
In order to take full advantage of its benefits and avoid negative effects, it is necessary to consume vitamin A on a regular basis. In this sense, it is important to know which foods have the highest concentration.
- Fruits and vegetables. Among these we find lettuce, mango, melon, tomato and spinach. If you are looking for a large amount, the best option is carrots.
- Meat. White meat is the best alternative, being chicken the most recommended. Fish is another of the best options to use.
- Dairy products. Both milk and the foods produced with it are perfect for increasing vitamin A levels.
When a person suffers from a very large deficit of this element, supplements can be used. These contain a very high concentration and, therefore, manage to raise the levels in a short time
However, in order not to run unnecessary risks, it is necessary to first consult a specialized physician. He will be able to determine the condition of the person as well as the best amount to ingest. This dose will be between 30 or less grams, depending on the severity of the problem.
Risks and contraindications of vitamin A
Vitamin A levels should always be within the range approved by health professionals, with doses of 0.9 and 0.7 grams being suggested for men and women respectively. If these amounts are altered, damage to the body can occur. In the case of some people, they cannot consume supplements of this element.
- Sensitive people. Those who present allergic reactions should abstain from its consumption.
- Pregnant women. The use of vitamin A during pregnancy and lactation through supplements is prohibited. And consumption through food should be low.
Vitamin A is of great helpto health. When the indications of the experts are respected, many benefits are obtained.