Vitamin A – The Angel Vitamin


Vitamin_A

VITAMIN A – The Angel Vitamin

Vitamin A is quite an under-rated vitamin when it comes to the magnanimous health benefits it has. Vitamin A has got much more important role to play than just giving you healthy eye-sight. It plays an essential role in healthy vision, growth and repair of skin, formation & maintenance of bones, teeth, and boosts the immune system. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant, thereby decreasing inflammation and slowing the process of aging.

Doctors may prescribe vitamin B complex, vitamin D, vitamin E, etc but rarely does one feel the need to understand that certain diseases may occur due to deficiency of Vitamin-A.

Vitamin-A deficiency is one of the top ranking public health problems affecting half of all countries, especially in Africa and South East Asia, hitting hardest the young children and pregnant women in developing countries. This blog answers some of the general queries that you may have about this Angel Vitamin!

Q : What exactly is Vitamin-A ?

Vitamin A is not just a singular vitamin. It is the name of a group of fat soluble retinoids which includes retinol, retinal, retinoids and beta carotene. Though a micronutrient, it is quite essential for normal functioning of the body.

Two forms of Vitamin A are available in our diet :

  1. Retinoids (also known as Retinol, the bio available form of Vitamin A found in animal food)
  2. Carotenoids – previtamin A found in plant foods

Q : From where can I get Vitamin-A ?

VEGETARIAN SOURCE NON – VEGETARAN SOURCE

 

VEGETARIAN SOURC NON – VEGETARAN SOURCE
  • Sweet Potato
  • Liver
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – spinach, broccoli,
  • Egg yolks
  • Bell peppers – red, yellow, green
  • Fortified Mil
  • Orange/yellow/green fruits – papaya, mango, tomato,

pumpkin, apples, watermelon, grapes, avocado, apricots

  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Meat

 

Q : Am I at a risk of developing Vitamin-A Deficiency ?

Following people are at a higher risk of developing Vitamin-A deficiency :

  1. Preterm babies (due to inadequate liver storage of Vitamin A)
  2. Infants and young children in developing countries (especially if mothers are deficient of Vitamin A)
  3. Pregnant and lactating mothers (due to increased demand for baby’s growth and their own metabolism)
  4. Pure vegans – due to low levels of bio-available source of Vitamin A which are only found in animal food)
  5. People suffering from Coeliac disease, tropical sprue, giardiasis, cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis, Crohn’s disease, duodenal bypass surgery, bile duct obstruction, etc (Vitamin A requires fat for its metabolism and these diseases reduce fat assimilation in body)
  6. Alcoholics

Q : So, how much of Vitamin-A should be taken daily?

DAILY REQUIREMENT OF VITAMIN A : (As per U.S Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences – Recommended Dietary Allowance) :

For children (1-3 years) : 300 mcg/day (1000IU)
Children (4-8 years) : 400mcg/day (1300 IU)
Children (9-13 years) : 600mcg/day (2000 IU)

For Women (14 years and above) : 700mcg/day (2300 IU)
* Pregnant Women : 770mcg/day (2600 IU)
* Lactating women : 1300mcg/day (4300 IU)

For Men (14 years and above) : 900mcg/day (3000 IU)

Conclusion :

Vitamin A is a micronutrient, i.e. it is required in trace amounts for the normal functioning of the body. Also, it is easily available from food items – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Apart from this, Vitamin A vaccines are cheap and readily available. So, start having those colorful orange, yellow, green veggies and fruits that adorn the market. I am sure this angel vitamin will help you flaunt that twinkle in your eyes, keep your hair and skin healthy and give a boost to your immune system.

-Dr. Amrita Utekar, Life Force Homeopathy

 

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