The benefits of vitamin A are enormous. It is responsible for vision and bone growth, and it is an excellent natural antioxidant that makes our hair shiny and skin supple and elastic. That is why you can very often find it in shampoos and creams or even liquid vitamin A.
Types of vitamin A: retinoids and provitamin carotenoids (primarily beta-carotene) are transformed into retinol in the body. It is proven that carotenoids have anticancer, antimutagenic, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant effects.
Retinol (vitamin A) and beta-carotene (provitamin A) are essential organic compounds that the human body requires.
What foods contain vitamin A?
Vitamin A is rich in carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, peaches, and melon. More significant amounts are found in traditional herbs: paprika, sage, hawthorn, curry, oregano, basil, and halloumi cheese. Among the products of animal origin, retinol is in fish oil, cod liver, milk, eggs, butter, and others. Carotenoids enter the body with vegetables, seasonings, and fruits.
In foods, the amount of vitamin A is significantly reduced by improper storage and cooking (prolonged heat treatment) products. Losses can be up to 40%.
Why is vitamin A important?
Retinol activates the production of rhodopsin, which provides good vision in the dark. Beta-carotene has an antioxidant effect.
Retinol improves vision, helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, increases bone strength, protects the lungs from toxic effects. Beta-carotene – a powerful antioxidant, it reliably protects the body from the harmful effects of free radicals, including smoke and ultraviolet radiation. The substance helps prevent heart disease, asthma, depression, cancer, and secondary infertility.
Doctors recommend vitamin A to treat many diseases: bronchitis, dysentery, psoriasis, diseases of the eyeball, rickets, mastitis, cirrhosis of the liver, leukemia, and many others.
Daily allowance of vitamin A
The dosage of retinol depends on the age and sex of the person. So, adult men need 650-950 mcg of vitamin A. Women a little less – 600-800 micrograms. For pregnant women, the daily requirement increases by 100 micrograms, and for nursing mothers – 410 micrograms of this vitamin.
Children’s rate varies between 400 and 1000 mcg. If there is a shortage, the dosage increases to 3000 mcg.
Remember foods fortified with vitamin A lose up to 40% of retinol during cooking. It can be replenished with an immune booster drink.
Liquid Vitamin A for Skin
Retinoids are compatible with receptors in the epidermis and dermis, so the potential of vitamin A in the beauty field is enormous:
• helps even out skin tone and texture;
• increases the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid in the dermis;
• it improves the protection of collagen fibers from destruction by ultraviolet light;
• reduces hyperpigmentation;
• increases skin density;
• reduces the depth of pronounced wrinkles helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles noticeably.
Vitamin A deficiency
The main sign of vitamin A deficiency is the appearance of “night blindness.” When the eyes take a long time to readjust when the light changes, it’s time to sound the alarm if your eyes take more than 30 seconds to adjust when switching from a brightly lit room to a dark one.
Vitamin A deficiency is indicated by tearing and burning eyes in the winter sun or bright light. Also, dry “gooseflesh” on your elbows and thighs. It is also worth taking a course of vitamin A, hot drinks to boost the immune system, nose, throat appear.
Vitamin A overdose
Retinol accumulates in the liver with long-term use and is almost not eliminated from the body naturally. Then it becomes toxic to adults and children. Vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, yellowing, dry skin, and impaired vision may occur. Beta-carotene is safer and does not overdose.
Retinol dosage should be especially carefully monitored for pregnant women. If there is an excess of it, the development of the fetus is impaired. And the baby may be born with a congenital disability of the skull or bones.
Medics recommend laboratory monitoring of vitamin A concentrations in the body before and during taking it.
What is the best way to absorb vitamin A?
Vitamin A is fat-soluble, so you should take vegetable or butter oils to improve absorption into the intestinal wall. Also, the effect of retinol increases when combined with vitamin C.
How do I take vitamin A?
A doctor’s prescription recommends taking a vitamin A medication or immunity booster drink for adults. This substance quickly accumulates in the body, so the amount is always calculated individually by the doctor because of the risk of overdose.
Vitamin A is divided into two groups: retinol palmitate and retinol acetate. The first substance has a mild effect, and the second is more active. Means are available in the form of capsules and oily solutions. Regardless of the structure, they are well absorbed.
Can I take vitamin A together with other vitamins or medicines?
Vitamin A and vitamin E work well together, but the latter should be less; otherwise, the intensity of absorption of the former would be impaired. You can combine vitamin A with iron, copper, vitamin B.
Vitamin A and D should not be taken together, and they neutralize each other. Retinol may be taken with caution if you take estrogenic oral contraceptives (OCs). Estrogens increase the concentration of vitamin A in the blood plasma, increasing the risk of hypervitaminosis.
Isotretinoin increases the risk of toxic effects. The combination of retinol and tetracycline in high doses (over 50,000 IU per day) is dangerous; intracranial pressure may increase.
Nitrates and statins will be less absorbed while taking retinol.
Vitamin A is responsible for the body’s growth and development, which is why it is so helpful for children. It also affects the normal state of the skin mucous membranes. With a lack of vitamin A, all sorts of viruses cling faster – the same flu, SARS. Because any bacteria first gets on the mucosa, and if it is not usually protected, the virus enters further into the body.
Also, this vitamin regulates twilight and color vision. It is also called the “beauty and youth vitamin” because it is responsible for skin renewal.
It is better to get vitamin A through natural sources – plant and animal foods because it does not work well in synthetic form. And even when at one time there was a prevalent opinion that beta-carotene prevents lung cancer, it turned out that in smokers, on the contrary, when taken in high doses, it can cause cancer. Also, pregnant women should not take a lot of vitamin A. If you overdose (if you take synthetic drugs), there is a risk of deforming the fetus.