One of the most important fat-soluble vitamins is vitamin A which is vital for many bodily processes. The body will not be able to function well without the help of this fat-soluble vitamin. The benefits of vitamin A are essential for maintaining healthy eyes, immune system response, and organ development for infants inside the mother’s womb. The daily recommended amount of this vitamin to men is 900 mcg, 700 mcg for women, and children to adolescents need 300 to 600 mcg. The good thing is that it can be found in both plant and animal sources.
There are also two types of vitamin A that people usually consumed in the diet. One is the preformed which is an active form; it means that the body can use it as it is. These are found in chicken, fish, meat and dairy products and also some compounds such as retinoic acid, retinol and retinal.
The provitamin A is another type which is also known as carotenoids such as beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. They are called in the active form of vitamin A that is commonly found in plants. These types are converted by the body in an active form. For instance, the beta-carotene is converted to retinol and the process is carried out by the small intestine.
1. Save the Eyes from Night Blindness
One of vitamin A benefits are for preserving the normal function of the eye. This vitamin is vital in processing light pass through the eyes to convert it into an electrical signal that is sent to the brain. One of the most common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness called nyctalopia. It can happen to people who do not consume enough of this vitamin in the diet as it is an important component of the pigment known as rhodopsin. The rhodopsin is in the retina of the eyes and it is very sensitive to light. Patients with this condition have normal vision during day time, then experience difficulty in seeing at night because of the reduced function of the eye to low-level lights.
Another symptom is the AMD or the age-related macular degeneration which is the major cause of blindness all over the world. Some studies connect it to damages of the retina caused by oxidative stress. They found out that by giving beta-carotene supplement to adults aged 50 can reduce the risk of AMD by 25 percent.
2. Help the Body to Fight Certain Types of Cancer
One of the many vitamin A uses is linked to healthy cell growth and development which greatly influence the risk of developing cancer cells. During observational studies, they found out that increase beta-carotene in the diet is linked to decrease risk of developing certain types of cancer such as cervical, lymphoma, bladder, and lung cancer.
Most of the studies are geared towards plant-based benefits of vitamin A and active form from animals does not pose a similar effect. However, more studies are encouraged to get more scientific data on the relationship between vitamin A and decreased risk of cancer.
3. Support Increase Immune System Response
Most of the important organs in the body depend on vitamin A uses to produce a mucous barrier for the lungs, eyes, gut, and the genital. This barrier can aid in trapping bacteria as well as other infectious elements from affecting these organs. Aside from that, it is responsible for the normal functioning of the white blood cells which is to kill bacteria and harmful pathogens that enter the bloodstream.
If you are low in vitamin A benefits then you are susceptible to infections as well as delays your recovery from sickness. Sadly, vitamin A deficiency is rampant in many countries, and providing children with supplementation is one of the most effective ways to combat malaria and measles especially in children.
4. Helps Acne-Prone Skin
Many people are not aware but acne is considered as chronic inflammation of the skin. People with severe acne develop painful blackheads as well as spots that are common on face, chest, and back. Although this skin condition is not life-threatening, it can harm people’s self-esteem and confidence that can lead to serious mental issues.
Some studies suggest that the benefits of vitamin A can reduce the risk of acne breakouts because a deficiency can lead to the overproduction of keratin within the hair follicles. When it happens, it can hamper the removal of dead skin cells that can lead to blockage. There are over the counter medications available for treating acne such as isotretinoin which is known as an oral drug. However, there are cases of side effects so taking it should be under the strict guidance of a medical professional.