Vitamin A is a blanket term for retinoids, which are biologically active compounds that occur naturally in both plant and animal tissues. The vitamin A that comes from animal sources is fat soluble, and in the form of retinoic acid, it’s retinal and retinol. Since these retinoids are so bioavailable and stored in our tissues, too much animal derived vitamin A can build up in the body and become toxic. Take a look below for 25 more interesting and important facts about vitamin A.
1. The vitamin A that’s found in foods that come from animals is retinol. It’s a yellow, fat soluble vitamin and is the precursor of the most active form of vitamin A used in the body.
2. Vitamin A that’s found in fruits and vegetables is called provitamin A carotenoid and it can be converted into retinol in the body.
3. Vitamin A plays an essential role in healthy vision, normal functioning of the immune system, embryonic development and red blood cells.
4. Since the possible roles of vitamin a in reversing tumor development and boosting immune function, it’s been proposed that retinol might help reduce the risk of cancer.
5. Vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity against infections by increasing the lymphocytic responses against disease causing antigens. It also keeps the mucus membranes moist to ensure better immunity and also enhances the activity of white blood cells.
6. It also prevents germs from entering your body and helps to fight infections once they do gain entry, thereby ensuring a double core protection.
7. Vitamin A enables your eyes to adjust to light changes, keeps them moist, and also improves night vision. It can also prevent many conditions like dry eyes and night blindness by increasing the adaptability of the human eye to both bright light and darkness.
8. Retinol helps in the formation of visual purple in the eyes, which can improve the eyes and ensure a healthy retina.
9. Vitamin A also significantly cuts down the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which is commonly associated with aging. It’s also beneficial for people who have glaucoma.
10. It helps keep your body free from free radicals and toxins, which can damage your skin.
11. It helps keep your skin soft and supple by ensuring moisture retention, therefore, preventing dryness, keratinization, and skin conditions like psoriasis.
12. Vitamin A helps in strengthening bones and teeth. It helps in the formation of dentin which is a layer of hard material just below the surface of your teeth.
13. It helps prevent the formation of urinary calculi due to the formation of calcium phosphate.
14. It also helps keep the lining of the urinary tract in shape, which helps reduce the recurring chance of kidney stones.
15. Since it keeps bones healthy and strong, it plays an important role in ensuring proper muscle growth in children and growing teenagers.
16. Vitamin A helps cut down excess sebum production, which reduces the risk of acne and acne related breakouts.
17. It also helps reinforce the protective tissues of the skin, which enhances the overall health and vitality of the skin surface.
18. Vitamin A is essential for proper maintenance of the skin tissues and mucus membranes as it flushes out the toxins from your body nd cleanses the system with its antioxidant properties.
19. It plays a very important role in replacing old and worn out tissues with new ones.
20. It’s become famous as of late for its wrinkle eliminating properties, which can reduce age spots and fine lines.
21. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause measles in children. Intake of foods that are rich in vitamin A helps relieve the fever and diarrhea that’s often caused by measles.
22. The richest animal source of retinols is beef liver. 3 ounces of beef liver provides over 27,000 IU of vitamin A, which is more than an average person needs for a whole day.
23. The best natural sources of carotenoids are fruits and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, kale, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
24. A deficiency of vitamin A can include a loss of appetite, poor immune function causing frequent infections, hair loss, rashes, dry skin and eyes, visual difficulties, poor growth and fatigue.
25. Apart from people who are malnourished, people with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of vitamin A deficiencies.