You may have heard that vitamin A is good for your eyesight, but did you know that it does much more than that? Vitamin A is essential for a wide range of bodily functions, from immunity to reproduction. Keep reading to learn more about this important nutrient!
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a nutrient found in many foods. It can also be made in the body from beta-carotene, which is found in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A plays an important role in many bodily functions, including:
– Immunity: Vitamin A helps white blood cells fight infection.
– Reproduction: Vitamin A is essential for normal fetal development.
– Vision: Vitamin A helps the eye convert light into an electrical signal that can be sent to the brain. It also helps keep the surface of the eye moist.
– Growth and development: Vitamin A is necessary for normal growth and development during childhood and adolescence.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause serious health problems, such as night blindness and an increased risk of infections. Pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin A are at risk of delivering babies with birth defects.
Most people in developed countries get enough vitamin A from their diet. However, those who don’t eat meat or poultry (including vegans) or who have malabsorption syndromes (such as celiac disease) may be at risk of deficiency. supplementing with beta-carotene may help prevent deficiency in these groups of people.
Food Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. It is also found in some plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.. Here are some examples of foods that are rich in vitamin A:
How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A depends on your age and sex. Pregnant and lactating women need more vitamin A than other adults. The RDA for vitamin A is given in micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalents (RAE). This measurement takes into account the different bioactivities of retinol (vitamin A1) and provitamin A carotenoids (such as beta-carotene). The table below shows the RDAs for vitamin A.
Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating 0-6 months* 400 mcg/day 400 mcg/day 7–12 months* 500 mcg/day 500 mcg/day 1–3 years 300 mcg/day 300 mcg/day 4–8 years 400 mcg/day 400 mcg/day 9–13 years 600 mcg/day 600 mcg/day 14–18 years 900 mcg/day 700 mcg/day 750 mcg/day 1200 mcg/day 19+ years 900 mcg/day 700 mcg/day 770 mcg/ day 1200mcg /day * Adequate Intake (AI)
As you can see, vitamin A is an important nutrient that plays a role in many bodily functions. Be sure to include plenty of foods rich in vitamin A in your diet to maintain adequate levels of this important nutrient!
So, as you can see, vitamin A is an important nutrient that plays a role in many bodily functions. It’s important to include plenty of foods rich in vitamin A in your diet to maintain adequate levels of this vital nutrient! And don’t forget, sharing this information with your friends and family will help them stay healthy too. Thanks for reading!