- Vitamin A is a common word used to describe a fat soluble nutrient compound. This nutrient is available as a dietary supplement in two forms namely retinyl palmitate or retinol and beta-carotene. It is an important nutrient that your body needs to perform various growth and development functions. It helps in maintaining the function of various organs of your body. It plays a vital role in immune function, vision, reproduction, and recognition of cells in the body.
- The liver plays an important role in metabolism of Vitamin A and stores the nutrient in it. This nutrient is then passed on from the liver to the required part of the body in a form of specific transport protein called Retinol Binding Protein (RBP).
Vitamin A natural sources
- There are two forms of vitamin A that are naturally found in food products namely Preformed Vitamin A (Retinol) and Provitamin (Beta carotene as a common form). Retinol is an active form of vitamin A that is generally available in a number of animal food products such as meat, fish liver, fatty fish, egg yolk, cheese, butter, etc. These products are considered as a rich source of vitamin A.
- On the other hand, food products that are based on plants contains carotenoids form of vitamin A. Such plant based food products include certain fruits especially those containing orange color such as squash, red peppers, apricot, pumpkin, sweet potato, cantaloupe, mango, etc, and also includes green leafy veggies such as broccoli, turnip green, spinach, etc.
Benefits of Vitamin A in your body
Vitamin A is considered as one of the most vital nutrients that is stored in the liver. There are a number of benefits involved associated with vitamin A inside your body such as:
- assist and maintain a healthy immune system function.
- reduces the risk of acne.
- stimulates healthy growth and development of your body.
- protects eyes from vision disorders such as night blindness and eye ageing effects.
- could prevent risk of several cancers.
- support healthy bone functioning
- maintains proper functioning of several vital organs of your body such as lungs, kidneys, heart, etc.
Recommended amount of vitamin A intake
- A 400mcg of daily Vitamin A intake is considered beneficial for babies upto 6 months old.
- For babies between 7-12 months old, 500mcg of nutrient is needed.
- Toddlers between 1-3 years old require 300mcg of this nutrient daily.
- 4-8 years old children need 400mcg of vitamin A.
- Strict 600mcg of vitamin A daily is beneficial for children between 8-13 years old.
- Teenagers and adults above 14 years have specific demands of vitamin A such as 700mcg for females and 900mcg for males.
- Pregnant women generally need 770 of vitamin A daily.
- Breastfeeding teenagers need 1200mcg while breastfeeding adults need 1300mcg of this nutrient every day.