Vitamin A

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Vitamin A rich foods
Vitamin A


Description

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin to the eye retina, necessary for both scotopic and color vision. Vitamin A also functions in a very contrasting way in the form of retinol or retinoic acid, which serves as an which is an important hormone similar growth factor for epithelial and other cells.

In animal foods, the major form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, is converted to an alcohol (retinol) in the small intestine. The retinol form functions beneficially for your health and beauty, offering specific anti-aging and health advantages.


History

Upon discovering that other factors were needed to keep cattle lively aside from carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the earliest research on vitamin A and its functions may have began for this reason in the year of 1906. In 1917, the substance was independently discovered by Elmer McCollum, Lafayette Mendel, and Thomas Burr Osborne. Due to the recent discovery of the water-soluble factor B or vitamin B, the founding researchers decided on the name fat-soluble factor A or vitamin A. In contradiction with a long standing scholarly misconception, spinach was promoted for its vitamin A content and not for its iron content during the US infant nutrition crisis of the 1920’s and 1930's.


Health Benefits

There is a variety of health benefits involved with healthy levels of vitamin A in the body. Healthy vitamin A, when functioning in the body, promotes healthy body tissue, wards off infections, moisturizes skin and prevents dryness, and assists with building healthy teeth and bones. Vitamin A can also help treat hyperthyroidism, preserves healthy vision, prevents and treats emphysema, neutralizes free radicals, prevent premature aging, prevention of cancer and arthritis as well as other degenerative diseases.

Beauty Benefits

Vitamin A provides a variety of beauty benefits including the prevention and treatment of acne, the prevention and treatment of skin aging, protects against free radical and sun damage, moisturizes skin and ensures the supple, soft texture for glowing skin and eyes.


Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency is thought to affect approximately one third of the population of children under five years old worldwide. An estimation of 670,000 lives of children under the age of five years die annually. Around 250,000-500,000 children in developing nations go blind each year due to a vitamin A deficiency, most of the deaths occurring in Southeast Asia and Africa. As reported by the World Health Organization or W.H.O., vitamin A deficiency is being controlled in the United States, remains a significant worry in developing nations.

Vitamin A deficiency can be either a primary or a secondary deficiency. As a primary vitamin A deficiency, the illness occurs among children and adults that do not consume enough yellow and green vegetables, fruits, and liver. Mothers who stop breast feeding their infants too soon can also increase the risk of vitamin A deficiency. The second type of vitamin A deficiency is associated with a chronic inability to absorb lipids, impaired bile production, low fat diets, and long term exposure to oxidants such as cigarette smoke.


Food Sources

  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Pumpkin
  • Egg
  • Cantaloupe Melon
  • Sweet Potato
  • Apricot
  • Papaya
  • Milk
  • Mango


Daily Recommended Doses

  • Infants: 0-6 Months 400 Mg/ 7-12 Months 500 Mg
  • Children: 1-3 Years 300 Mg/ 4-8 Years 400 Mg
  • Males: 9-13 Years 600 Mg/ 14-18 Years 900 Mg/ 19-70 Years 900 Mg
  • Females: 9-13 Years 600 Mg/ 14-18 Years 700 Mg/ 19-70 Years 700 Mg
  • Pregnant Females: Less than 19 Years 750 Mg/ 19-50 Years 770 Mg
  • Breast Feeding Females: Less than 19 Years 1200 Mg/ 19-50 Years 1300 Mg


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