Which foods contain vitamin A and what is the difference between it and carotenoids?
Vitamin A is an organic (carbon-containing) compound that is important in order to keep the body’s metabolism smooth.
Vitamin A is fat-soluble, This means that it is absorbed in the body by dietary fats, Where it is stored stored directly in the fatty tissue of the body.
Vitamin A was first discovered in 1909, It is also known as retinol and retinoic acid.
It is essential for night vision and for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones, It also has an important role in regulating cell growth and development and in maintaining a healthy immune system.
The main dietary sources of vitamin A include meat (especially liver),dairy products (full fat), eggs and ghee.
Health Benefits of Vitamin A
The World Health Organization has reported that measles is likely to develop in children with vitamin A deficiency.
WHO recommends that all children with measles be given vitamin A supplements for treatment.
Research shows that vitamin A palmitate is an effective treatment for an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare genetic disorder that involves the deterioration of cells in the retina at the back of the eye.
Common symptoms include night blindness and loss of peripheral vision.
Reduced risk of skin cancer
The researchers found that people who took high levels of vitamin A were 17 percent less likely to get the second most common type of skin cancer.
Vitamin A and Bone Health
Bones are vital living tissues that are constantly undergoing reconstruction, Throughout life, Bone cells produce new bones.
While biotic osteocytes activate and remove old bone, In youth, Bone formation outweighs bone removal. That’s why babies grow.
But with age, Bone cell removal gains more with calcium loss, and the occurrence of osteoporosis.
Regarding vitamin A, Laboratory studies have shown that retinoic acid (which the body makes from vitamin A) stimulates bone cells.
Vitamin A and skin treatment
Vitamin A treats a number of skin problems, Such as acne, oily skin, wrinkles, or even rough skin.
But with excessive application of vitamin A to the skin, This can cause dry and flaky skin if applied too often.
Vitamin A offers the same effect on different conditions such as oily skin or psoriasis, In addition to treating wrinkles, skin lesions , flat warts, psoriasis and dense skin.
Vitamin A and Breast Cancer
helps a derivative of vitamin A, known as retinoic acid, which is abundant in sweet potatoes and carrots, to return pre-cancer cells to healthy breast cells.
And the vitamin does not change the course of complete cancer, Only precancerous cells, And it acts only at a very limited dosage.
Foods Content of Vitamins A
- 3 ounces of beef liver 30,326 IU.
- 3 ounces of chicken liver 13920 IU.
- Skim milk 500 IU.
- whole egg, Medium size 280 IU.
The average man gets about 74% of vitamin A from meat and dairy products. The rest are orange-yellow fruits and vegetables and dark green vegetables.
In addition Vitamin A is found in supplements such as multivitamins and fish liver oils.
Vitamin A in carrots
Carrots, along with orange vegetables and other fruits.
One cup of carrots provides more than 26,000 units of vitamin A. The raw carrot provides a little less, Namely, about 21,000 IU.
Although one cup of carrots exceeds the recommended doses of vitamin A, The type of vitamin A found in carrots is not associated with toxicity complications.
While eating a lot of carrots may bring an orange tint to your skin, You are unlikely to suffer adverse health effects as a result.
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Recommended daily amount of vitamin A
until 2001, The nutritional reference intake for adults was 5000 international units (IU) per day, or 1500 micrograms (mcg).
Levels of up to 10,000 IU (3,000 mcg) are also considered safe.
Recent research says that the recommended daily amount of vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women.
But beware of excessive intake of vitamin A, This can cause liver damage, brain swelling and miscarriage in pregnant women.
babies up to 6 months need 400 μg of vitamin A per day, Babies between the ages of 7 and 12 months need 500 mcg per day.
For children aged one to two, They need 300 micrograms.
Children between the ages of 4 and 8 years should consume 400 mcg per day.
Children aged 9 to 13 need 600 mcg per day, Those between the ages of 14 and 18 have approximately 900 micrograms.
Men 19 years of age and older should consume 900 mcg of vitamin A per day.
The daily vitamin requirement for women aged 19 and over is 700 micrograms.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Pregnant or breastfeeding women need additional amounts of vitamin A. It reaches about 750 mcg per day.
Side effects of reducing vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency in the body has a detrimental effect on the hematopoietic system of the bone marrow.
The deficiency causes the loss of blood stem cells many elements important for the health of the body.
According to the scientists’ report, These results will open up new horizons in cancer treatment.
Side effects of excessive vitamin A intake
Too much vitamin A can be harmful. Even a single large dose – more than 200,000 mcg – can cause; nausea, vomiting, Vortex.
Take more than 10,000 micrograms per day from long-term oral vitamin A supplements to osteoporosis, liver damage, headache, diarrhea, nausea, skin irritation, joint pain, and bones
The appearance of birth defects in the fetus
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, You need vitamin A to ensure the growth and development of the fetus.
Take a lot of this vitamin during pregnancy, It can cause birth defects.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center , Vitamin A and beta-carotene may raise triglyceride levels, Which are linked to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Therefore, these supplements may increase the risk of heart disease, Especially if you are a smoker.
Is beta-carotene vitamin A?
Carotenoids are pigments formed by plants and are found only in fruits and vegetables.
Especially carrots and other brightly colored vegetables such as tomatoes, cantaloupe and peppers.
There are currently about 600 known forms of naturally occurring carotenoids.
All naturally occurring carotenoids can be described as vitamin A, Although some of them do not contain this type of vitamin in the first place.
To make matters worse, Many popular health and nutrition books on the market use beta-carotene and vitamin A interchangeably.
The fact is that carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein are very different from vitamin A!
Converting beta-carotene into vitamin A is also ineffective. Digestive health conditions must be highly efficient.
The conversion of carotene to vitamin A occurs in the upper part of the intestine in the presence of bile salts and lipid splitting enzymes.
Is vitamin A toxic?
Vegetarians claim that vitamin A in its true form is toxic and that carotenoids are the safest way to obtain these nutrients as the body will transform as needed.
The fact is that extremely high levels of vitamin A (over 100,000 IU / day) taken for long periods of time produce toxicity problems.
Forms of vitamin A
There are two main types of vitamin A:
Retinol: It is an active form of vitamin A. It is found in animal liver, whole milk, and some fortified foods.
Carotenoids: Carotenoids are dark-colored pigments, found in plant foods that can turn into an active form of vitamin A. There are more than 500 known carotenoids. One of these carotenoids is beta-carotene, which is found in carrots.