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Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. It has strong antioxidant properties which protect your cells against free radicals.
This vitamin is best known for its role in optimal eye health and vision. As per studies, it helps reduce the risk of night blindness and advanced macular degeneration.
Optimum intake of vitamin A can also help boost immunity, bone health and hair growth. It is also essential for reproductive health as well as foetal development.
Vitamin A is also commonly used to fight acne and other skin conditions effectively. Several studies also suggest that it may lower the risk of certain cancers.
The recommended daily requirement of vitamin A according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is 900 mcg and 700 mcg for men and women, respectively.
Pregnant women require 770 mcg of vitamin A daily. While lactating mothers should consume 1,300 mcg in a day. Source: NIH
According to WHO, vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections.
Dry skin, night blindness, dry eyes, trouble in conceiving, frequent infections, delayed healing of wounds and breakouts are some signs of vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A is available in both plant and animal-based foods. It is present in two different forms- preformed vitamin A (found in animal sources) and provitamin A carotenoids (plant sources).
Also known as retinol and vitamin A1 is found in cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, eggs, butter, cheese and other dairy products.
Plant sources of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, red pepper, mango and papaya.
If you experience symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, get your levels checked and seek medical help accordingly. Do not take supplements without consulting an expert.
Consumption of too much vitamin A is called hypervitaminosis. It can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, irritability, poor appetite, bone pain and vision changes.
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