Vitamin A also called retinol is an important metabolite in the body. This is a generic term used to refer to a group of variations of these metabolites all with a retinyl group. This includes retinol, retinoic acid and retinal.
Vitamin is an important constituent of Vitaminfood healthy meal replacement shakes which contain the recommended daily intake for the nutrient. Vitaminfood provides an adequate amount of Vitamin A in its ready to use form. Grab some Vitaminfood and bag enough Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is fat-soluble meaning that it is transported alongside fat and is stored within the body. It is stored in the liver within stellate cells and in fat reserves as retinyl esters. It is also not readily available in most plants as vitamin A but rather as carotenoids which can then be easily converted into Vitamin A by the body. An example of a carotenoid is beta-carotene that is found in great quantities in carrots and leafy greens.
What are some of the health benefits of Vitamin A?
For such an important nutrient, maintaining healthy amounts has great benefits to various body parts and systems which include:
When you hear carrots, your brain jumps right into vision improvement. But have do you know the reason why? It is because carrots are one of the most easily available sources of beta-carotene.
Vitamin A and beta-carotene are greatly touted and well known for their impact on our eyesight. Retinal, one of the metabolites of Vitamin A is a major component of rhodopsin, an eye pigment. Retinal combines with opsin to form rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is sensitive to light and vital in picking light signals, especially in the dark.
So vitamin A enables us to see clearly in the dark and a deficiency results in night blindness, a condition in which one is able to see clearly during the day but experiences difficulty in seeing in the dark. Vitamin A is necessary for the conversion of the light rays into electric signals transmitted as nerve impulses through the optical nerve to the brain for interpretation.
Besides forming rhodopsin, Vitamin A has been linked to better eyesight in elderly people. It has been shown in some studies to delay macular degeneration for those who supplemented it in their diet.
It also slows down the rate of progression of genetic eye defects like retinitis pigmentosa (the loss of side vision). Well, that is a whole lot of things that vitamin A can do for your eyesight. If you got no reason to get Vitaminfood for Vitamin A, then you at least must do it for your eyesight. Healthy amounts of Vitamin A and beta-carotene ensure that you see your way into old-age.
So yeah, Vitaminfood is not just for bodybuilders!! They have their protein shakes well suited for them but there are flavored meal replacement shakes for everyone else too.
- A boost to the immune system.
Among the natural defense systems and the front line of defense against pathogenic invasion is the mucous membrane. The mucous membrane present in the respiratory tract, gut, genitals and eyes helps trap bacteria and other pathogens before they make their way into deeper organs. And by doing so keep us safe and lead to their excretion.
Vitamin A is a hormone-like factor for the growth of epithelial cells that secrete the mucous membrane. By promoting the healthy growth of the epithelial cells, the vitamin is able to play a central role in disease prevention and expulsion of trapped pathogens.
Besides that, it is also impactful in the production and optimal functioning of the white blood cells
- Improves bone health
Vitamin A coordinates the activity of cells within the bine: osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The deficiency of vitamin A slows down the activity of the cells and this negatively impacts bone health.
Vitamin A is another nutrient well known and used in the beauty and skincare fields. Primarily because it is fat-soluble meaning that it a very minute amount can be absorbed through the skin. But also because of its utility to the skin. It protects against damage by Ultra Violet radiation and reduces skin aging. It smooths wrinkles and clears acne by reducing inflammation.
It also evens the skin tone and brightens it. This is at times achieved by hindering the formation of certain melanin pigments resulting in a lighter even skin tone if desired. Retinol also promotes healthy skin cell production by regulating cell and tissue growth.
- Healthy development of unborn children.
Vitamin A promotes the health of organ development in unborn children and helps prevent organ complications that arise shortly after birth. A deficiency or an excess intake has been shown to result in various birth defects so it is important to take only recommended amounts and to seek further guidance.
- Promotes healthy development of the reproductive system
The vitamin promotes fertility and viability of the gametes; both the sperm and egg quality. This could because of epithelial cells within the reproductive system and other aspects like nourishing the cells of these gametes. It affects sperms development and fertility and egg quality and implantation.
- Improve on diseases affecting the gut
Conditions such as ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel syndromes have been proven to get less severe with Vitamin A supplementation. The vitamin reduces the symptoms and aids in recovery even in adults.
- Treat precancerous lesions in the mouth
These wounds in the mouth are usually caused by smoking and if unattended could develop into obstinate wounds or even cancerous ones. Vitamin A can be used to treat these lesions before they advance to extreme cases.
- Reduce cancer risks
Because of its impact on cell and tissue development, it is speculated that the vitamin can reduce cancer risks with little evidence for cancers of the cervix, lung and bladder. Substantial evidence is yet to be gathered and a fully-fledged explanation to be made.
Vitamin A still plays an important role in the synthesis of various compounds within the body and affects more systems than have been discussed so get enough of it.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 900 mcg and 700 mcg per day for men and women, respectively.
Deficiency and toxicity
A deficiency in Vitamin A especially in children under 5 years and is common in areas of constant malnourishment.
The symptoms include
- Dry scaly skin
- Dry eyes
- Throat and chest infections vulnerability
- Poor wound healing
- Acne breakouts
These symptoms if observed together can be a good early indicator of a deficiency. Some more also manifest as effects and can act as a confirmation.
The effects include:
- Night blindness/ nyctalopia because of impaired production of rhodopsin to pick up the light waves. Could also be because of keratinization of some parts of the eye affecting their ability to pick up light in dim light.
- Early age blindness in children under 5 mostly.
- Increased risk of infant mortality from infectious diseases because the mucous membrane is inadequately produced.
- Decreased synthesis of thyroid hormones and thyroid secretions.
- Increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure causing migraines and headaches because of inadequate absorption of the fluid in the meninges.
- Infertility and difficulty conceiving.
- Higher risk of birth defects and complications in newborns.
Vitamin A is also toxic in large quantities most likely from supplementation rather than a diet. This is because it is fat-soluble and therefore stored in body reserves, it can accumulate to toxic amounts if too much is consumed in a very short period of time. The excess is not excreted via renal regulation which is a continuous process. Instead, it hangs around in the blood causing hypervitaminosis. Supplementation should be done moderately unless under a doctor’s or dietician’s instruction.
Some of the symptoms of hypervitaminosis are: nausea, dizziness, headache, pain
The effects include congenital birth defects and even death in some extreme cases.
Good vision is a great investment. Could be careerwise or just a cool brag when your get older and have nothing much to brag about. I mean with muscle wastage and skin wrinkles...it could really be something.
Anyway, the point is, Vitamin A is essential, for yours first and for many more reasons as well. Get enough as your body needs and avoid complications from a deficiency. Vitaminfood gets you right up to your goal without straining. Get yours now and be part of the change.