There are many health benefits of vitamin A but it is usually associated with the body’s ability to maintain healthy skin, good eyesight, fat absorption and more. First discovered in 1912 by a polish biochemist named Casimir Funk. He initially called his discovery vitamine. However, Funk went on to discover an array of what are now called vitamins. Since vitamine was the first one Funk discovered, it was renamed Vitamin A.
Although the name was changed, the health benefits of Vitamin A haven’t changed. Every day the body requires Vitamin A to maintain healthy skin, good eyesight, fat absorption and more. Because of these benefits, vitamin A has often been labeled as an anti-aging vitamin.
Vitamin A is found in natural foods like oranges, yellow fruits, vegetables, spinach, and fats. Carrots, in addition to being an antioxidant, are a good source of vitamin A and prevents night blindness as well as helping to prevent cancer and boosting the immune system. Vitamin A in vegetables is water soluble and comes in the form of Beta Carotene. Beta Carotene is used up in the body by natural processes.
As mentioned, vitamin A also helps with the absorption of excess fat. However, for individuals who are on a restricted or low-fat diet, they may not get the right amount of vitamin A through natural means. If that is case, a vitamin A supplement can be added, or the amount of protein can be increased. Or both. Vitamin A combined with an increase in protein makes it stronger and helps it move through the body smoothly.
How much is enough vitamin A daily? That depends on your age, but for adult men and women, that would be between 700 to 900 mcg, usually expressed as retinol activity equivalents. Here is a good table and explanation for recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. If you have a well-balanced, healthy diet, you should be able to reach those levels. If you can’t, there are supplements on the market. If you are taking supplements, make sure that they provide the right amounts with no side effects.
The important thing is getting enough vitamin A. Not having enough in your daily diet can result in deficiencies that can produce skin problems, increased infections and even night blindness. A prolonged deficiency in vitamin A can cause risks of cancer.
Too much Vitamin A, on the other hand, is also not so good as it can lead to pain in joints, abdomen, and bones. So, you should always get the right amount. Women going through pregnancy should be very careful taking too much vitamin A. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant for recommended daily allowances.