A-Z of Vitamins: Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an awesome vitamin to increase in your life. You may have heard of the name retinol being thrown around in commercials of beauty products – this is basically another name of the vitamin. That means that if you want to take care of your skin and the way you look on the outside, vitamin A is the fastest way forward!

The benefits of vitamin A go much further than just being an added ingredient to many anti-aging products. It does so much more than that. Just take a look at these benefits:

  • It helps you to see in dim lighting. Without this, you’d basically be blind if the lights were out!
  • Your body uses vitamin A to boost the immune system and make it more powerful against infections that would otherwise knock you down.
  • The linings of the nose as well as the nose and other body linings are kept healthy with an increase of vitamin A.

So, now you know what it does for you, are you convinced yet? You don’t need a lot of vitamin A to give your body the positives. Women are recommended to get around 0.6mg of the stuff, with men needing a little more at 0.7mg. The even better news is the fact that you can find vitamin A in many different places, including:

  •   Eggs
  •   Cheese
  •   Milk
  •   Yoghurt
  •   Mackerel and other oil fish
  •   Low fat margarines and spreads that have been fortified.

 

You will also find that there is plenty of vitamin A in liver too but you don’t want to make this a regular vitamin A fix as you could run the risk of putting too much in your body. Ideally you should be looking at having liver no more than once per week.

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Source: Flickr.com/ photos/tampabayinformer/4474496296/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Too much of any vitamin can be just as dangerous as not having enough and this is definitely the case with vitamin A. If you have more than double what you need, so around 1.5mg, you could potentially damaging your bones which means that as you age, you are going to break or fracture them more often. If you’ve ever heard of osteoporosis and seen the effect it can have on the body, you are definitely going to want to avoid too much vitamin A!

The other problem you have with vitamin A is when you don’t get enough vitamin D in your day to day life – A needs D in order to work properly. This means that certain categories of people should most definitely avoid too much vitamin A such as darker-skinned people, especially those from South Asia or African-Caribbean people. Older people (65 and older usually) should also avoid lots of vitamin A, and pregnant people should follow the same advice.

When it comes to supplements, there are plenty that contain vitamin A but it has been recommended that you get your vitamin A intake from a healthy diet rather than turn to extras. This is very much so the case for those that are pregnant. Too much vitamin A can seriously affect your unborn child causing problems such as deformities and miscarriage. If you ever have any doubts or just aren’t sure, you should always have a chat with your local doctor or midwife for more information.

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