What is vitamin A
Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, and vitamin A is an important vitamin for visual health, fertility, enhancing immune functions, forming and maintaining the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs, and can act as a hormone within the body, and the types of vitamin A include the following:
Vitamin A is available in human food in two forms, namely the formed vitamin A, which consists of retinol, and the retinol Ester and is obtained from animal sources, and the carotene provitamin A, of which beta-carotene is the most important type, and can be obtained from plant sources.
Sources of vitamin A
Vitamin A can be obtained from animal and vegetable sources, foods rich in vitamin A, and natural sources of vitamin A include:
Breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin A.
Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, carrots, pumpkin, red pepper, and sweet potatoes.
Legumes, especially lentils and beans.
Milk and cheeses.
Plants with dark green leaves such as spinach and broccoli.
Organ meats are like liver.
Fatty fish such as tuna.
Vitamin A health benefits
Vitamin A has many health benefits, some of these benefits can include the following:
The benefits of vitamin A for diabetes:
Getting adequate amounts of vitamin A can help in the treatment of diabetes, as retinoic acid, which is derived in the body from vitamin A, is one of the acids that help blood sugar.
The benefits of vitamin A for cancer prevention:
It was found that there is an association between a reduced risk of cancer, including colon cancer, with adequate intake of vitamin A, which the body obtains from plant sources, but beta-carotene supplements did not have the same results.
The benefits of vitamin A for the eye:
Vitamin A is necessary to protect the eyes from night blindness and age-related deterioration of eye health, such as macular degeneration, which is a major cause of vision loss. the causes of macular degeneration are usually unknown, but oxidative stress can play a role in it, so carotenoids with antioxidant properties may help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
The benefits of vitamin A for the skin:
Vitamin A promotes the production of natural oils in the body, which helps maintain skin moisture, and one of the benefits of vitamin A for hair is to maintain its moisture and the rate of oil production in the scalp. One of the benefits of vitamin A for the face is to reduce the risk of acne, as it helps balance the secretion of oils in the skin, which prevents their accumulation in the hair follicles and causes pimples and pimples, and vitamin A deficiency leads to accumulation of keratin, which leads to the accumulation of dead cells and clogging of hair follicles.
The benefits of vitamin A for immunity:
Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining the strength of the immune system, supporting it to perform its functions, and among the parts whose immunity strength increases are the mucous barriers of the eyes, lungs, intestines, and genitals. In addition, it contributes to the production of white blood cells.
The benefits of vitamin A for bones:
One of the benefits of vitamin A for Bones is that it preserves them with age, as it is necessary for bone growth and development.
The benefits of vitamin A for growth and reproduction:
Vitamin A is necessary to maintain the health of the reproductive system in men and women, and also promotes normal growth and development of fetuses during pregnancy, so Vitamin A for pregnant women is necessary, but excessive intake during pregnancy can be harmful to the baby and may lead to birth defects.
The dangers of vitamin A deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency can affect a wide range of body functions, which can lead to the development of many problems, including:
Increased risk of infections, especially in the abdomen, chest, and throat.
Growth retardation in children.
Hyperkeratosis, which causes dryness and thickening of the skin.
Increased risk of bone fractures.
Recommended daily dose of vitamin A
The recommended vitamin A doses of vitamin A pills by age group include the following:
Doses for adolescents and adults: daily doses of vitamin A for adults aged 14 years and older include the following:
Females: 700 micrograms per day, as for women in the period of pregnancy and breastfeeding, the recommended daily dose is 1300 micrograms.
Males: 900 mcg per day.
Children's dosages: vitamin A dosages for children aged one to 13 years include the following:
Age 1-3 years: 300 mcg per day.
Age 4-8 years: 400 mcg per day.
Age 9-13 years: 600 mcg per day.
Infant dosages: recommended infant dosages of vitamin A include:
Age 0-6 months: 400 mcg per day.
Age 7-12 months: 500 mcg per day.
Groups prone to vitamin A deficiency
The categories that can be prone to vitamin A deficiency include:
Young children and infants: breast milk does not contain enough vitamin A to meet the child's needs during the first six months of his life, and women with vitamin A deficiency do not have amounts of breast milk, and vitamin A levels are sufficient to meet the recommended needs of the child, so it is recommended to give doses of vitamin A to breastfed children only.
After stopping breastfeeding, xerophthalmia is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency that helps to identify a child with vitamin A deficiency.
Premature babies: this category of babies does not have enough vitamin A stores in the liver at birth, and vitamin A deficiency can increase their risk of developing chronic lung, eye, and gastrointestinal diseases.
People with cystic fibrosis: most people with cystic fibrosis suffer from pancreatic insufficiency, which increases their risk of developing vitamin A deficiency due to the difficulty of absorbing fat in their bodies, but the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency can be alleviated and treated in this group through treatments, pancreatic transplantation, a better diet, and the use of vitamin A drugs known as supplements.
Pregnant and lactating women: pregnant and lactating women need higher levels of vitamin A to help fetal development, maintain their body tissues, and support metabolism during pregnancy and lactation, and xerophthalmia is a common symptom of vitamin A deficiency in this group in addition to a high rate of exposure to disease, death, and anemia.
Risks of excessive consumption of vitamin A
Excessive consumption of vitamin A can be toxic, and one of the harms of the vitamin when its levels are increased, we mention the following:
The fragility of nails.
Changes in vision.
Double vision in young children.
Increased hair oils.
Fetal malformations in pregnant women.
Soft spots on the skull in children.
Changes in wakefulness such as the frequent feeling of drowsiness and fatigue.
Skin changes such as cracking, yellowing, itching, and sensitivity to sunlight.
Liver diseases in case of exposure to excessive doses.
Increased incidence of periodontal disease.
Difficulty gaining weight.
Swelling of the Fontanel in children.
Acne treatment drugs such as isotretinoin are derived from vitamin A, so people who use these drugs should not consume too much vitamin A or vitamin A pills, and a healthy diet usually provides a sufficient amount of vitamin A, which means there is no need to take vitamin A supplements.