Health

Vitamin A – Benefits, Sources, Deficiency, and Recommended Intake

Vitamin A Benefits
Vitamin A Benefits

Vitamin A refers to a set of unsaturated organic compounds which comprise: retinal, retinoic acid, retinol and many provitamin A carotenoids. Vitamin A benefits are immense, more so vitamin A is important for the human body, majorly for improving our vision and building a strong immune system.

It is popularly known worldwide that Vitamin A deficiency is the cause of blindness. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, obtainable from the different plants and animal foods

Sources of Vitamin A

  • Beef Liver
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Dark Leafy Vegetables
  • Dried apricots
  • Butternut squash
  • Melon
  • Fortified milk
  • Cod liver oil
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Avocadoes
  • Salmon
  • Soybean
  • Cereals
  • Egg yolks
  • Almonds
  • Lentils
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pumpkin

Benefits of Vitamin A

  • Good for our eye health – This is an eminent feature of Vitamin A, especially carrots which play a vital role in keeping our eyes healthy. People who suffer night blindness problem lack Vitamin A.
  • Excellent in maintaining our skin – Vitamin A is vital for skin care, especially notable in beauty care and cosmetic products.
  • Develops a strong immune system – Vitamin A is crucial for us to strongly resist foreign objects from entering our body. T-cells, the white blood cells do the stated activity. The proteins required for the production of these T-cells is generated by Vitamin A.
  • Promotes anti-ageing process – Vitamin A contains the antioxidant feature which eliminates the free radicals from our body. It makes us look youthful and healthy.
    • Cures skin-problems like blackheads and acne
    • Necessary for embryonic development
    • Prevents osteoporosis by protecting the bone mass
    • Improves our memory and learning ability
    • Vitamin A plays a useful role in the treatment of heart disease and cancer
    • Vitamin A is useful in treating sinus and urinary tract infections
    • It alleviates the complications arising from diseases like malaria and measles

Vitamin A Deficiency

  • Inadequate food intake
  • Liver disorder
  • Fat malabsorption
  • Malnutrition
  • Heavy urinary excretion

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms

  • Night blindness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Dandruff
  • Dry hair
  • Throat Infection
  • Chest Infection
  • Skin Infection
  • Thyromegaly or goitre
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage (women)

Recommended Vitamin a Daily Intake

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A that is given for individuals depends on factors like their age group and sex.

  1. Infants and Children – The recommended daily Vitamin A intake for infants and children needs to be
    • 0-6 months – 400 mcg (per day)
    • 7-12 months – 500 mcg (per day)
    • 1-3 years – 300 mcg (per day)
    • 4-8 years – 400 mg (per day)
  2. Children, Adolescents, Men and Women – The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for children, adolescents and men and women is as follows
    • 9-13 years – (Male – 600 mcg – Female – 600 mcg) per day
    • 14-18 years – (Male – 900 mcg – Female – 700 mcg) per day
    • 19-50 years – (Male – 900 mcg – Female – 700 mcg) per day
    • Above 50 years – (Male – 900 mcg – Female – 700 mcg) per day
  3. Men and Women above 50 years
    • Above 50 years – (Male – 900 mcg – Female – 700 mcg) per day
  4. For pregnant women – 700 mcg  per day
  5. Fir lactating mothers – 950 mcg  per day

(*)  The term mcg refers to microgram

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