Vitamin A – Why your body needs it?
What is Vitamin A?
In 1929, English biochemist Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins OM, PRS (20 June 1861 – 16 May 1947) was who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929, with Christiaan Eijkman, for the discovery of essential nutrient factors — now known as vitamins — needed in animal diets to maintain health In 1912, one of his discoveries was a Fat-soluble vitamin called Vitamin A, which has a number of different forms:
- Retinal or Retinaldenyde – Converts from Retinol in the body (affects skin and epithelial-tissue)
- Retinoic Acid – Converts from Retinol in the body (affects vision and the retina of the eye)
- Beta-carotene – This is converted to Retinol in the body, which then converts to Retinal or Retinoic Acid
It works synergistically with a number of other nutrients, including vitamins D, K2, zinc, and magnesium, and needs these nutrients in order to function properly.
Why is Vitamin A required?
- To maintain good vision (especially at night) and overall eye health.
- To maintain the health of bones and teeth.
- To maintain healthy organ function (heart, lungs, kidneys)
- To maintain a healthy immune system.
- Reduced risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer.
- Essential for healthy cell membranes and overall growth and development.
- Synthesis and balance of hormones.
What symptoms are associated with a Vitamin A deficiency?
- Acne and breakouts
- Delayed growth
- Dry skin
- Dry eyes
- Infertility and trouble conceiving
- Night blindness
- Pain in the bones
- Peeling skin
- Poor wound healing
- Throat and chest infections
- Visual problems
What are the food sources?
- Orange vegetables and fruit – eg Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Carrots, and Cantaloupe and mangoes
- Collard greens and turnip greens
- Mustard greens
How can I get enough?
Dosage: 2,000 to 10,000 IU per day.
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is
- 3,000 IU – Males
- 2,300 IU – Females
- 10,000 IU – Upper intake limit for both males and females