Vitamin A is essential to carry out various functions of the body (Freepik)

We know that the vitamin C Helps improve the body’s immunity. And that calcium is good for bones or that fiber is excellent for intestinal health.

But within the range of vitamins, A is less known and is usually associated with having good vision. But there’s more to this key nutrient the body needs.

The Vitamin A (also called retinol or retinoic acid) is a nutrient important for vision, growth, cell division, reproduction and immunity.

“It even has antioxidant properties, which are substances that can protect cells against the effects of free radicals, that is, molecules generated when the body breaks down food or when it is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation,” they highlight. Mayo Clinic. According to the American medical institution, the free radicals They could influence heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Vitamin A is also useful for improving the skin (Illustrative Image Infobae).

Meanwhile, the US Library of Medicine specifies that it is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. exist two different types of vitamin A found in food.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as beef, fish, poultry, and dairy products.
  • Precursors of vitamin A, also known as provitamin A, are found in plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of provitamin A is beta-carotene.
Some fruits also contain vitamin A (Illustrative image Infobae)

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. In most cases it comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate. (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A), or a combination of preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.

Meanwhile, experts from the Harvard University They highlight the power of vitamin A to improve vision. “The main nutrient of carrothe beta carotene (responsible for the characteristic orange color of this tuber), is a precursor of vitamin A and helps the eyes adapt to low light conditions. “Vitamin A can’t give you night vision superpowers or cure your contact lens dependency, but eating an adequate amount will support eye health.”

Vitamin A is also good against osteoporosis – (Illustrative Image Infobae)

From Harvard they specified that vitamin A also stimulates production and activity of white blood cells that help prevent different diseases, participate in the bone remodelingHelps maintain healthy endothelial cells (those that cover the interior surfaces of the body) and regulates the growth and cell division necessary for reproduction.

“The two main forms of vitamin A in the human diet are preformed vitamin A (retinol, retinyl esters) and provitamin A carotenoids, such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which are converted into retinol. Preformed vitamin A comes from animal products, fortified foods, and vitamin supplements. Carotenoids occur naturally in plant foods. There are other types of carotenoids found in foods that are not converted to vitamin A but have health-promoting properties; These include lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin,” they added.

The evidence suggests that eating a variety of foods rich in vitamin Aespecially fruits and vegetables, protects against certain diseases such as cancer, cognitive decline and age-related vision problems.

Green vegetables also contain vitamin A (Getty Images)

Vitamin A is present in many foods, such as vegetables, dairy products, and liver. Other sources are foods rich in beta-carotene, such as leafy vegetables, carrots, and cantaloupe. The body transforms beta-carotenes into vitamin A and is thus incorporated into the body as a nutrient.

Lots of cereals for him breakfast, juices, dairy products and other foods are enriched with retinol (preformed vitamin A). Many fruits and vegetables and some supplements contain beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, or zeaxanthin, such as:

  • leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli),
  • orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and other winter squash, summer squash)
  • tomatoes
  • Red pepper
  • melon, mango
  • cow liver
  • fish oils
  • milk
  • eggs
  • enriched foods
Other sources of vitamin A are foods rich in beta-carotene, such as leafy vegetables, carrots and melon (Illustrative Image Infobae)

Vitamin A is currently listed on the Nutrition Facts label and is measured in international units (IU). However, the US Institute of Medicine lists the recommended dietary allowances (RAE) of vitamin A in micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalents to take into account the different absorption rates of preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids.

The recommended daily allowance for adults 19 years and older is 900 mcg RAE for men (equivalent to 3,000 IU) and 700 mcg RAE for women (equivalent to 2,333 IU). The maximum tolerable intake level is the maximum daily intake that is unlikely to cause harmful health effects is 3000 micrograms of vitamin A.

Before taking vitamin A, knowing the correct doses to consume of that supplement (Freepik)

From Mayo Clinic, they highlight that As an oral supplement, vitamin A primarily benefits people who have a poor diet or a limited diet, or who have a disorder that increases the need to take vitamin A, such as pancreatic disease, eye disease, or measles. If you take vitamin A for its antioxidant properties, keep in mind that supplements may not offer the same benefits as antioxidants found naturally in food.

The Recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women.

Lack of vitamin A can have a negative impact on vision (Getty)

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in Western countries, but can occur. “Conditions that interfere with normal digestion can cause poor absorption of vitamin A, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, cirrhosis, alcoholism, and cystic fibrosis”, they indicated from Harvard.

Also at risk are adults and children who consume a very limited diet due to poverty or self-restriction. Mild vitamin A deficiency can cause fatigue, susceptibility to infections, and infertility. The following are signs of a more serious deficiency.

Other signs of vitamin A deficiency are:

  • Xerophthalmia, a severe dry eye that, if left untreated, can lead to blindness.
  • Nyctalopia or night blindness
  • Irregular spots in the whites of the eyes.
  • Dry skin or hair