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What Does Vitamin A Do For Your Body

Good Sources Of Vitamin A

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Good sources of vitamin A include:

  • cheese
  • fortified low-fat spreads
  • milk and yoghurt
  • liver and liver products such as liver pâté this is a particularly rich source of vitamin A, so you may be at risk of having too much vitamin A if you have it more than once a week

You can also get vitamin A by including good sources of beta-carotene in your diet, as the body can convert this into retinol.

The main food sources of beta-carotene are:

  • yellow, red and green vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers
  • yellow fruit, such as mango, papaya and apricots

Which Protein Is Best For Hair

Eating adequate protein is important for hair growth because hair follicles are made of mostly protein. A lack of protein in the diet has been shown to promote hair loss . Biotin is essential for the production of a hair protein called keratin, which is why biotin supplements are often marketed for hair growth.

A Closer Look At Antioxidants

Antioxidant is a catchall term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules such as free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells.

Your body cells naturally produce plenty of antioxidants to put on patrol. The foods you eatand, perhaps, some of the supplements you takeare another source of antioxidant compounds. Carotenoids and flavonoids are antioxidants. The vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium also have antioxidant properties.

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What Happens If I Have Too Little Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is not common in developed countries since most people can get the recommended amounts of this vitamin through the diet. However, it can happen to people with specific health conditions that impair the absorption of foods and nutrients, or in cases of malnutrition.

Vitamin A deficiency affects the normal functioning of our vision, immunity and reproduction and it can lead to anaemia if our iron levels are already low. Its particularly harmful during pregnancy, since it increases risk of birth defects.

In more severe cases, vitamin A deficiency can lead to a disease called xerophthalmia, which affects our eye health causing night blindness, severe dryness of the eyes, spots in the white of the eyes and eventually, blindness. However, this is more common in developing countries where diets are poor in foods that contain vitamin A.

May Protect Against Certain Cancers

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Due to their antioxidant properties, carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables may protect against certain types of cancer.

For example, a study in over 10,000 adults determined that smokers with the highest blood levels of alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin had a 46% and 61% lower risk of dying from lung cancer, respectively, than non-smokers with the lowest intake of these nutrients .

Whats more, test-tube studies demonstrate that retinoids may inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, such as bladder, breast and ovarian cancer .

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Boosts Your Immune System

Vitamin A impacts immune health by stimulating responses that protect your body from illnesses and infections.

Vitamin A is involved in the creation of certain cells, including B- and T-cells, which play central roles in immune responses that guard against disease.

A deficiency in this nutrient leads to increased levels of pro-inflammatory molecules that diminish immune system response and function .


Vitamin A positively impacts health by keeping oxidative stress in check, boosting your immune system and protecting against certain diseases.

Though vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries like the US, its common in developing countries, as these populations may have limited access to food sources of preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids.

Vitamin A deficiency can lead to severe health complications.

According to the WHO, vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children worldwide.

Vitamin A deficiency also increases the severity and risk of dying from infections like measles and diarrhea (

  • Butternut squash


Preformed vitamin A exists in animal foods like liver, salmon and egg yolks, while provitamin A carotenoids are found in plant foods, including sweet potatoes, kale and cabbage.

How To Take It

Vitamin A is absorbed along with fat in the diet. Take it with food.

Studies often use high doses of vitamin A. However, such high doses can be toxic. A doctor should monitor any high-dose therapy .

Daily dietary intakes for vitamin A are:


  • Men, 19 years and older: 900 mcg
  • Women, 19 years and older: 700 mcg
  • Pregnant women, 14 to 18 years: 750 mcg
  • Pregnant women, 19 years and older: 770 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women, 14 to 18 years: 1,200 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women, 19 years and older: 1,300 mcg

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Who Is At Risk Of Deficiency

Those at highest risk of deficiency include:

  • preterm infants

reduces the bodys ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A.

Vitamin A supplements are available for those whose bodies have difficulty absorbing the nutrient, but it is best to meet needs through food, where possible.

This is because the use of supplements can mask possible deficiencies of other nutrients. This may lead to further health issues.

What Happens If I Have Too Much Vitamin A

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Its uncommon to have too much vitamin A from our diet, but some foods, such as liver and liver products, can easily help us reach our daily needs in small portions.

High levels of vitamin A in our bodies can cause skin disorders, nausea, vomiting, muscle problems and liver damage. It can be particularly harmful during pregnancy as it increases the risk of birth defects. Harmful doses of vitamin A can be reached through food supplements, so pay attention.

Healthy adults, including during pregnancy and lactation, are advised not to have more than 3000 g RE per day, which is about four times the DRV for this vitamin. Its also recommended that postmenopausal women who are at greater risk of osteoporosis, should not have more than 1500 g RE per day, as it could increase the risk of bone fracture.

Before taking vitamin A supplements, check with your doctor or consult a registered dietitian/nutritionist to discuss if theres any value or risks in adding a supplement to your diet.

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A Closer Look At Water

Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves.

Because much of your body consists of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses out of the body in your urine.

Water-soluble vitamins

  • Folic acid
  • Niacin

Vitamin C

How Much Vitamin A Do I Need

The total vitamin A content of a food is usually expressed as micrograms of retinol equivalents .

The amount of vitamin A adults aged 19 to 64 need is:

  • 700 µg a day for men
  • 600 µg a day for women

You should be able to get all the vitamin A you need from your diet.

Any vitamin A your body does not need immediately is stored for future use. This means you do not need it every day.

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Is There Any Side Effects Of Keratin Treatment

Keratin hair treatments may sound like a quick fix for curly or wavy hair, but it may cost you more in the long term. Tests show that keratin treatments contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde and other chemicals. Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing chemical. It can also cause skin reactions and other side effects.

How Antioxidants May Help

What Do Vitamins Do For Your Body

Antioxidants are able to neutralize marauders such as free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons. When a vitamin C or E molecule makes this sacrifice, it may allow a crucial protein, gene, or cell membrane to escape damage. This helps break a chain reaction that can affect many other cells.

It is important to recognize that the term antioxidant reflects a chemical property rather than a specific nutritional property. Each of the nutrients that has antioxidant properties also has numerous other aspects and should be considered individually. The context is also importantin some settings, for example, vitamin C is an antioxidant, and in others it can be a pro-oxidant.

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What Symptoms Are Caused By Vitamin A Deficiency

Mild forms of vitamin A deficiency may cause no symptoms. However, vitamin A deficiency may cause tiredness .

Both mild and severe forms of vitamin A may cause an increased risk of:

  • Infections, including throat and chest infections, and gastroenteritis.
  • Delayed growth and bone development in children and teenagers.
  • Infertility.

More severe forms of vitamin A deficiency may also cause:

What Happens If You Lack Keratin

You could start losing hair. If you deal with protein deficiency, your body will conserve protein and ration the amount of keratin available to your hair follicles, according to the media company When your hair follicles aren’t provided enough protein, hair can shed, thin and become more dry and brittle.

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Beta Carotene As A Source Of Vitamin A

The body can change beta carotene into vitamin A so including these sources will also help. The main food sources of beta-carotene are:

  • yellow, orange and red vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers
  • green vegetables, such as spinach
  • yellow fruit, such as mango, apricots and papaya

The Benefits Of Vitamin A

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The compounds we know as vitamin A contribute to a range of functions throughout the body. From the regulation of gene expression to the proper eye function to red blood cell production, the nutrient does an A+ job at keeping our bodies in working order.* It’s also critical for embryonic and fetal organ development, Gombart adds.* Here’s the lowdown on a few of its most important perks:

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Vitamin A And Your Bones

Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing is …wonderful.” Whatever else she had in mind, it certainly wasn’t vitamin A. Although doctors have long known that very large amounts of vitamin A are toxic, studies show that modest doses previously considered safe can increase your risk of fracture.

Should I Take Vitamin Supplements

The best way to give your body vitamins is to eat a varied diet that includes healthy proteins and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking a vitamin supplement may mean you get that vitamin, but not enough other nutrients to help your body absorb it.

However, if you are on a restrictive diet or have a health condition that impacts how you eat food or absorb nutrients, you may need to take vitamin supplements to avoid deficiency and stay healthy.

Before taking any vitamin supplement, speak with your doctor or an accredited dietitian.

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What Are Vitamins A C And E

Vitamins A, C and E are essential nutrients which have antioxidant activity. Laboratory and animal studies have found some scientific basis for their use, but current evidence from studies on humans suggests that antioxidant vitamins arent effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence from trials of the effectiveness of vitamin E in treating osteoarthritis provided mixed results. Results for early trials into the use of vitamin C in treating osteoarthritis are encouraging, but they need confirmation by larger trials.

  • Family: Nutritional supplement
  • Scientific name: Vitamin A , vitamin C and vitamin E

Vitamins are nutritional substances which you need in small amounts in your diet. Vitamins A and E are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning theyre stored in your bodys fat cells, but they need to have their levels topped up regularly. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Your body stores all water-soluble vitamins except for vitamin B12 for only a brief period of several weeks to several months and then gets rid of them through the urine. This is why you need to take water-soluble vitamins daily.

Vitamins can be found in foods or can be produced in laboratories . You can buy vitamin capsules from high-street shops.

    What Are The Benefits Of Taking Keratin

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    Keratin works by smoothing down the cells that overlap to form your hair strands. The layers of cells, called the hair cuticle, theoretically absorb the keratin, resulting in hair that looks full and glossy. Keratin also claims to make curly hair less frizzy, easier to style, and straighter in appearance.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin A Deficiency

    Vitamin A deficiency or hypovitaminosis A, can be due to lack of a well-balanced diet, fat malabsorption or liver disorders. Low vitamin A level in the body leads to deficiency, which can present the following signs .

    Severe vitamin A deficiency can further cause the following signs.

  • Blurry vision
  • Irregular patches on the white of the eyes
  • Night blindness , the earliest manifestation of xerophthalmia, where the night vision is affected
  • Severe dryness of the eye if untreated can lead to blindness
  • If you observe any of the above signs of vitamin A deficiency in your child, then consult a pediatrician.

    Why Do People Take Vitamin A

    Topical and oral retinoids are common prescription treatments for acne and other skin conditions, including wrinkles. Oral vitamin A is also used as a treatment for measles and dry eye in people with low levels of vitamin A. Vitamin A is also used for a specific type of leukemia.

    Vitamin A has been studied as a treatment for many other conditions, including cancers, cataracts, and HIV. However, the results are inconclusive.

    Most people get enough vitamin A from their diets. However, a doctor might suggest vitamin A supplements to people who have vitamin A deficiencies. People most likely to have vitamin A deficiency are those with diseases or very poor diets.

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    What Causes Keratin Loss

    Genetic disorders and irrelevant medication causes the keratin in human body to wear off significantly. Dieting can also cause keratin deficiency as lots of vitamins and minerals are prevented from getting into the body as a result of the restrictions made in order to carry out the strict diet plan.

    Cutting Down On Free Sugar

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    Foods that contain free sugars aren’t required as part of a healthy balanced diet, so you should try to eat these less often and in smaller amounts.

    To do this, use food labels to choose items that are lower in sugar and swap:

    • sugary breakfast cereals for plain cereals – such as plain porridge, wholewheat biscuit cereals, shredded wholewheat or no added sugar muesli
    • flavoured or corner-style yoghurts for low fat, lower sugar yoghurts, adding fresh fruit for variety
    • sugary drinks for water, lower fat milk, sugar-free drinks or tea and coffee

    Sugary drinks account for a surprisingly large proportion of the daily sugar intake of both children and adults. Almost a third of the free sugars consumed by 11 to 18 year olds come from soft drinks.

    Cereal bars often contain high levels of free sugars too, so remember to check the label.

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    Why Do Children Need Vitamin A

    Vitamin A is one of the essential vitamins that our body cannot manufacture, and thus, it needs to be included in the diet. This micronutrient has an important role because it :

  • supports normal growth and development in children.
  • helps maintain healthy teeth, bones, and soft tissues.
  • is required to maintain the structural integrity of all the surface tissues, such as skin, to combat infections and facilitate wound healing.
  • supports vision and eye functions.
  • aids in maintaining a healthy immune system due to its antioxidant properties. A healthy immune system is vital for protection against pathogens.
  • Helps in proper functioning of heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.
  • Apart from these, there are several other physiological functions, such as management of oxidative stress.

    What Happens If We Dont Get Enough Vitamin A

    Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dry skin and dry eyes, and breakouts, among many other things.

    On the other hand, too much Vitamin A can result in too much of it being stored in the liver. This can lead to toxicity and problematic symptoms, such as vision changes, swelling of the bones, dry and rough skin, mouth ulcers and confusion.7

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    The Safest Way To Take Vitamin A

    The safest way to get your vitamin A is to take mixed carotenoids, naturally sourced alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and gamma-carotene. Since your body only converts these safe plant compounds into vitamin A when vitamin A is needed, they do not build up to toxic levels in your body. Doses of up to 25,000 IU a day are safe for beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids.

    Selected Reference:

    Black RE et al., Maternal and child undernutrition: global and regional exposures and health consequences, The Lancet, 2008, 371, p. 253.

    Acne Psoriasis And Other Skin Disorders

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    Prescription creams and pills containing retinoids, a synthetic form of vitamin A, are used to help clear up severe acne and psoriasis. They have also shown promise for treating other skin disorders, warts, and premature aging from the sun. Recent studies show that topical forms along with antioxidants may help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These medications require close supervision by a doctor. Isotretinoin , an oral medication for acne, can cause very serious side effects and must not be used by pregnant women or women of child-bearing age who are not taking birth control.

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