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mucous membranes moist and also neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. This vitamin also plays an important role in preventing conditions such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, diabetes mellitus and aging which are mainly caused due to oxidative stress. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining health and wellbeing of the epithelial tissues of the body. Beta carotene is an essential nutrient which is related to carotenoids or carotenes. This nutrient possesses excellent antioxidant properties which help to prevent oxidation of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol and thus stop the development of fatty buildups in the arteries. Beta carotene is converted by the body into Vitamin A. Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, broccoli, spinach, whole milk yogurt, whole milk cottage cheese, butter, and cheese are some of the excellent sources of Vitamin A. Common deficiency symptoms which are associated with vitamin A deficiency include viral infections, inflamed eye balls, dry itchy skin and cold. In severe cases vitamin A deficiency can even lead to blindness. Vitamin A benefits Vitamin A plays a crucial role in the growth and repair of body tissues, bones and the development and maintenance of tooth enamel and gums. It also eliminates free radicals that create age spots, wrinkles and acne, and keeps the skin tone healthy and well nourished. Vitamin A facilitates proper digestion of proteins through the secretion of gastric juices. It is a potent antioxidant which helps to boost immunity and prevent neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin A is very essential for eyes as it improves vision and prevents night blindness. It helps to avoid eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Vitamin A facilitates the production of white blood cells (WBC s) and also maintains the health of reproductive system and skeletal structure. Beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A plays a beneficial role in combating ability skin disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema and protects throat, mouth, and lungs from pre-cancerous cells. Vitamin A is an important fat soluble vitamin which is necessary for normal metabolism, gene expression and embryonic development. This vitamin acts as a key cellular mechanism that guides embryonic heart tissue formation and thus prevents congenital heart defects. Vitamin A helps to prevent infections especially of respiratory and urinary tract. Vitamin A also works synergistically with other vitamin to enhance vital functions and processes in the body. Adequate vitamin A levels in pregnant women can also prevent premature labor. Vitamin A also helps keep the membranes, inner linings, tissues, the skin, and eyes in good health. It plays a critical role in production of energy in cells and hence fights infections more effectively.
Vitamin A foods Vitamin A is fat soluble vitamin which is mainly derived from retinoid and pro vitamin carotenoids and it is beneficial for normal functioning of visual, bone health, cellular integrity and immune functions in the body. Retinol or vitamin A is mostly found in animal products. As Vitamin A is not synthesized by the body, it can be obtained through diet composed of pre formed vitamin A (meat, beef, chicken and fish). Including diet rich in Pro vitamin A carotenoids, which is found in many green leafy vegetables and fruits is another way of obtaining vitamin A in the body. Dietary fat plays an important role in the absorption of ingested vitamin A. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to diarrhea and infections such as gastroenteritis and respiratory infections. Vitamin A rich food list:Following are the list of foods which are excellent of vitamin A Vitamin A vegetables sources y y y y y y y y y y y Carrots Broccoli Spinach Collards Fresh parsley Turnips Mustards Sweet potato Peas Barley, wheat, maize, Oca, quinoa Cilantro
Vitamin A fruits sources y y y y y y y y y y Apricots Peaches Watermelons Cantaloupes Guava Papaya Passion fruits Tomatoes Grape fruits Mango
Vitamin A meat/protein sources y y y y y y y y y y y Liver Beef Chicken Cheddar cheese Cream Cow milk Eggs Tuna Lamb Pastie Turkey
Vitamin A deficiency Vitamin a or retinol deficiency generally occurs when the required amount of this vitamin is not consumed by the body. Decreased eye sight or poor night visions are mainly caused due to vitamin A deficiency. Prolong vitamin a deficiency can lead to complete blindness. People deficient with vitamin are at a greater risk of suffering from cystic fibrosis and pancreatic problems. Vitamin A deficiency can make the immune system which can increase the risk of neurological and developmental diseases. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 1.0 mg/day for the adult man and 0.8 mg/day for the adult woman. Vitamin A deficiency tends to occur in patients with problems absorbing nutrients from the intestine, or in those who abuse mineral laxatives. Dry eye, loss of taste, poor wound healing and the formation of small, white spots in the inner eyelids are some of the common symptoms associated with vitamin A deficiency. Children suffering from this deficiency are at a greater risk of developing ailments such as measles, malaria or diarrhea. Consuming alcohol can adversely affect the absorption of vitamin A which can lead to severe deficiency of this vitamin. This vitamin increases the risk of free radicals that create age spots, wrinkles, and depress the immune system. It can also lead to joint complications such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis. Vitamin deficiency decreases the formation of antibodies which help to fight invading microbes or infections. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the major factor increased childhood morbidity and mortality. Deficiency of this vitamin can affect surface linings of the intestinal tracts, eyes respiratory and urinary tracts. Deficiency of this vitamin may facilitate accumulation of fatty deposits inside the walls of arteries due to oxidative stress and hence increases the risk of atherosclerosis. Including a well nourished diet rich in beta carotene or vitamin A will go a long way in maintaining health and boosting immunity.
Vitamin A deficiency symptoms Decreased eye vision or night blindness is the primary symptoms which is associated with vitamin A deficiency. Prolong deficiency of this vitamin can also lead to serious health complications. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to a number of health problems, ranging from mild to severe disorders. Symptoms which are associated with vitamin A deficiency are as follows:y y y y y y y y y y y y y Night blindness Dry eyes Eye inflammation Corneal inflammation Rough and dry skin Growth retardation Cystic fibrosis Crohn s disease Celiac disease Obesity Excessive hair loss Ridged nails Poor sense of taste or smell
Vitamin A overdose Vitamin A is an essential vitamin which helps in maintaining healthy eye sight and promotes growth but consumption of this vitamin in large quantities can lead to serious health problems. Vitamin A toxicity can lead to growth retardation, hair loss and enlarged spleen and liver and even death. Dry skin, blurred vision and nausea are some of the symptoms which are associated with Vitamin A overdose. Vitamin a Recommended Allowance Life stage Infants Children Adolescent Adult Pregnant women Lactating women mg/day 400-500 300-600 900M-700F 900M-700F 750-800 122-1300
Vitamin A and stress management Vitamin A is also known to play a crucial role in stress management by avoiding oxidative stress which is caused due to free radicals. It also helps to boost energy by enhancing nervous and immune system functions. People suffering from heavy stress are always at greater risk of suffering from hypertension, diabetes and even cardiac arrest. Prolong stress can trigger problems associated with mental and physical health. Vitamin A helps to eliminate harmful toxins that reduce energy levels and cause stress. It is an excellent stress buster which helps to relieve stress related symptoms such as anger, depression, anxiety, food cravings, fatigue and nervousness. Vitamin A and hair care Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant vitamin which fosters the production of healthy sebum in the scalp which prevents hair loss. It promotes blood circulation to the scalp and prevents hair from graying. Vitamin A is also useful for hair follicles, as it keeps the hair root lubricated so they can grow stronger and healthier. Deficiency of this vitamin can make hair look rough and can also lead to dull or lifeless hair and even retarded hair growth. Vitamin A also helps to prevent hair from thinning. Vitamin A and skin care Vitamin A plays a key role in maintaining skin health by preventing acne and dark spots. It protects the skin from pollution, dust and ultraviolet sunlight that produces cell damaging free radicals. Vitamin A helps to reverse the aging process and make skin look beautiful by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Retinol which is active derivative of vitamin A helps to stimulate collagen production and unclogs pores that cause acne. It is required for the maintenance of skin tissue and mucous membranes and helps to eliminate harmful free radicals.
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