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Getting to Know Your Vitamins

Posted on April 18, 2018 at 6:35 PM
Vitamin A

Vitamins save lives, literally. Interestingly enough, however, the average person tends to know so little about them, and how they help our body. For instance, beauty magazines and blogs rave about the benefits of Vitamin A for vision and skin benefits, but people actually have the greatest risk of toxicity for Vitamin A. Now, this doesn't mean everyone is safe to assume their Vitamin A intake is adequate, but it does indicate that the manner at which people approach obtaining their vitamins could be incorrect. To specify, Vitamin A toxicity from diet alone, is incredibly unlikely, as food sources don't have enough concentrated levels of Vitamin A. Where the problem lies is the inproper use of Vitamin A supplements.

Nevertheless, this is why having a proper diet is so important, so let's start with what exactly Vitamin A is. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a critical role in the promotion of healthy vision, skin, and neurological function. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant, which is essential in immune health. Vitamin A can primarily be found in 2 forms, as "active Vitamin A," more commonly referred to as retinol or as "provitamin A," the most common and essential being beta-carotene. Retinol can be found from animal products and beta-carotene is most commonly found in colorfule fruits such as carrots and mangos. If I haven't convinced you of the importance of obtaining Vitamin A properly in your diet yet,  I'm going to give you 4 reasons to convince you to do so: 

1. Eye/Vision Health 

Vitamin A is an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that absorbs light in the retinal receptors. Additionally, beta-carotene can help prevent macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of vision loss in aging individuals. 

2. Skin Health & Cell Growth 

Vitamin A is necessary for wound healing and skin regrowth. It is especially needed by the epithelial cells, which are very prevalent in the skin, blood vessels, and organs. Vitamin A also helps in the formation of collagen, which can help limit lines and wrinkles in the skin, causing it to slow aging. Moreover, it can aid in the prevention of acne and skin cancers. 

3. Immune System Support 

The genes involved in the immune response system are dependent upon Vitamin A. As such, Vitamin A is not only important for fighting the common cold, but also for the autoimmune system and the prevention of cancers. 

4. Prevents Inflammation 

Vitamin A neutralizes the free radicals in the body that can cause tissue and cell damage. It's been scientifically proven that reduced inflammation is correlated to a reduced risk of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. 

Vitamin A deficiences are very common in low-income areas and countries. It is especially important in children, and Vitamin A deficiences can lead to severe issues such as blindness and even death. Alcoholics are also at great risk for Vitamin A deficiences. Signs of Vitamin A deficiences can include vision impairment, dry skin, diarrhea, and respiratory probems. 

Two of the very best sources of Vitamin A are carrots and sweet potatoes. Nonetheless, several other foods contain heart amounts of Vitamin A such as kale, eggs, tuna fish, mangos, squash, beef liver, etc. With a balanced diet, having a sufficient amount of Vitamin A should be easy! 

Categories: Medical

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