Vitamin A or retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in ensuring healthy eyes and bone development. Its deficiency is the most common cause of blindness among children. It can prevent night blindness and dry eyes, while also ensuring clear vision.
Important Sources of Vitamin A
Cod liver oil, cream, egg yolk, beef liver, cheddar cheese, fortified milk, and butter products are rich sources of vitamin A. Yellow or orange-colored fruits and vegetables that contain the pigment carotene are also great sources. Be sure to include food items such as sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, spinach, mango, pumpkin, tomato, oatmeal, apricot, peach, peas, papaya, and collard greens in your daily diet to ensure a regular supply of vitamin A.
Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms
The major deficiency symptoms of vitamin A include keratinization of the skin, night blindness, a burning sensation or itching in the eyes, inflammation of the eyelids, xerophthalmia (dryness of the conjunctiva), dull lusterless hair, dandruff, brittle nails that break easily, sexual disorders, and precancerous changes in the body tissues. A deficiency of this vitamin may also result in fatigue, insomnia, and depression.
Health Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for a healthy body and it has many beneficial properties, including those listed below.
Vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity against infections by increasing the lymphocytic responses against disease-causing antigens. It keeps the mucous membranes moist to ensure better immunity and also enhances the activity of white blood cells. It not only prevents germs from entering your body but also helps fight the infections once the germs gain entry into the body, thereby ensuring a double core protection.
Vitamin A can aid in improving vision. It enables your eyes to adjust to light changes, keeps them moist, and also improves night vision. It can prevent many conditions like dry eyes and night blindness by increasing the adaptability of the human eye to both bright light and darkness. Retinol helps in the formation of visual purple in the eyes, which can improve the eyes and ensure a healthy retina. It can also significantly cut down the risk of cataract and macular degeneration, which is commonly associated with aging. It is also thought to be beneficial for people suffering from glaucoma.
Vitamin A helps keep your body free from free radicals and toxins, which might damage your skin. It helps keep the skin soft and supple by ensuring moisture retention, thereby preventing dryness, keratinization, and skin conditions like psoriasis.
Boosts Bone Health
This essential vitamin strengthens bones and teeth. Vitamin A helps in the formation of dentin, a layer of hard material just below the surface of the teeth, thereby enhancing its strength.
Prevents Urinary Stones
Vitamin A prevents the formation of urinary calculi due to the formation of calcium phosphate. It also helps keep the lining of the urinary tract in shape, thereby reducing the recurring chance of stones.
Promotes Muscle Growth
By keeping the bones healthy and retaining their shape, vitamin A plays an essential role in ensuring proper muscle growth in children and growing teens, thereby preventing the chances of developing muscular dystrophy.
Reduces Risk of Acne
Vitamin A helps cut down excess sebum production, thereby reducing the risk of acne. It also reinforces the protective tissues of the skin, thereby enhancing the overall health and vitality of the skin surface. It is also essential for the proper maintenance of the skin tissues and mucous membranes. It flushes out the toxins from your body and cleanses the system by virtue of its antioxidant properties.
Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant, which can prevent certain forms of cancer.
Vitamin A plays an important role in replacing old and worn out tissues with new ones, as well as in keeping your bones and teeth strong.
Vitamin A is famous for its wrinkle-eliminating properties, which can reduce age spots and fine lines. It can slow down the aging process by enhancing the overall health of the skin.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Protects Reproductive System
This vitamin is widely known for aiding the health and functionality of the reproductive system.
Word of Caution: Vitamin A is required only in trace amounts and any excess quantity will be expelled by the body. Make sure to ensure a regular supply of the requisite quantity for best results. Its overdose can have detrimental symptoms such as blurred vision and nausea. Severe symptoms might include growth retardation, and an enlarged spleen and liver, among others.