Essential for the maintenance of healthy epithelial tissue in the eyes, skin, respiratory system, GI and urinary tracts.
A fat-soluble vitamin
A welltrient that promotes growth and repairs of body tissues. Necessary for growth & repair of body tissues; helps maintain smooth, soft disease-free skin; helps protect the membranes. Involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Necessary to new cell growth. Helps Fight infection. Essential for good blood, kidneys, bladder and lungs. Helps in the maintenance of good eyesight. Helps us to see in dim light and is necessary for proper bone growth, tooth development, and reproduction. •
Vitamin A has all the properties of Beta Carotene (which readily converts to "A" in the liver), and is necessary for new cell growth. Helps fight infection, is essential for healthy eyes, skin, good blood, strong bones and teeth, healthy kidneys, bladder, lungs, and tissue membranes. Believed toxic at high dosages. Important for the maintenance of good night vision. provides important nutrition for mucin secreting cells that lubricate the cornea of the eye. Zinc releases "A" from the liver.
1. One of the most important functions of this vitamin, and one of particular interest, is that it maintains the health and well being of
the epithelial tissues of the body. These are generally the tissues that line the openings, skin and mucous membranes. All glands and
their duct systems come under the protection of Vitamin A. Since these areas are the first potential sites for bodily invasion by outside
microbes, we must maintain these sites in optimal health.
2. Vitamin A aids in the growth and repair of body tissues, especially bones.
3. Proper formation and maintenance of tooth enamel and gums are a vitamin A process.
4. Vitamin A prompts the secretion of gastric juices necessary for proper digestion of proteins.
5. Vitamin A maintains the proper health of sex glands and the uterus.
6. Night vision and the general maintenance of the eye is a function of vitamin A.
7. Vitamin A aids in the synthesis of RNA.
Vitamin A in Pregnancy Vitamin A is essential for normal cellular differentiation and in regulating organ development in the fetus. Some researchers recommended that pregnant women either limit their vitamin A consumption to 4,000 to 8,000 IU daily or, alternatively, take beta-carotene.
Vitamin A is one of the most potent and worthwhile immune stimulants, especially protective against respiratory infections. (Neuzil KM, et al., Journal of Pediatrics, March 1994;124:433-6) Vitamin A is essential for the formation of epithelial cells, which function as a physical barrier against infections, and Vitamin A stimulates the production of T cells, and antibody-producing B cells. (Dennert G, in: Sporn MB, Roberts AB, and Goodman DS, eds. The Retinoids. Orlando: Academic Press, 1984,2:373-390.) One study reported that occasional high doses of vitamin A improved the well being of infants with HIV infections. (Coutsoudis' A, et al, American Journal of Public Health, Aug. 1995;85:1076-1081)
Vitamin A is essential for normal cell differentiation, there is evidence that vitamin A deficiency leads to birth defects. (Bendich A and Langseth L, "Safety of vitamin A," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 1989;49:358-71)
There is a small risk of vitamin A overdose, but the risk is overstated (i.e. a 1995 population study NEJM ). Women likely to become pregnant should exercise caution taking high doses of vitamin A or eating liver (a 3-ounce serving provides 30,000 IU).
Vitamin A in pregnancy does not apply to beta-carotene. Vitamin A toxicity usually does not occur unless someone consumes more than 1,000,000 IU in a two- to three-week period.
Sources: Carrots, Spinach, Red sweet pepper, Butternut squash, Romaine lettuce, Parsley, Loose-leaf lettuce, Green pepper, Zucchini, cantaloupe, peaches, tomatoes, all green and yellow fruits, and vegetables, Fish liver oils, liver dairy products
Antagonist: Vitamin E competes with "A" for absorbtion while alcohol interferes with the absorbtion of it.
Signs or Symptoms of a Deficiency: The eyes are often a indicator of Vitamin A deficiency. One of the first symptoms is night blindness. Other eye indicators of vitamin A deficiency include dry, itchy and inflamed eyeballs, fatigue, susceptibility to colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections, especially of the respiratory and urinary tract, are indicators of vitamin a deficiency. sinusitis and abscesses in ears and mouth are also common symptoms, as well as general repeated infections, acne, rough, dry, scaly, prematurely aged skin, sensitivity to light, reproductive difficulties. Also Xerosis, Bitot’s spot, keratomalacia, perifollicular hyperkeratosis, anorexia, bone changes.
Caution: Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a cause of preventable blindness in children and raises the risk of disease and death from severe infections. In pregnant women VAD causes night blindness and may increase the risk of maternal mortality.
Warning: Hypervitaminosis A refers to high storage levels of vitamin A in the body leads to toxic symptoms. There are three major adverse effects of hypervitaminosis A:
birth defects, liver abnormalities, reduced bone mineral density that may result in osteoporosis
Toxic symptoms can arise after consuming very large amounts of preformed vitamin A over a short period of time.
Signs of acute toxicity include nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, and muscular uncoordination.
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