What are their functions, the main sources or what the consequences of Vitamin A deficiency?
Who has never heard the expression “eat the carrot that leaves you with beautiful eyes”. The phrase certainly made (or is) part of the lives of many people and is just one example of well-known phrases from mothers and grandmothers who seek to care for the food and health of their family members. This is just to show that everyone has (most probably) spent much of their life hearing about the importance of vitamins or foods they should eat because they do this or that. And whoever told him that was not fooling him. In the case of the carrot, it may not make your eyes look better, but certainly contributes to its good functioning, for example. And all thanks to Vitamin A, essential for the body. But its benefits do not stop here. Find out how important this vitamin is to your body and where you can find it.
WHAT IS VITAMIN A?
Vitamin A is part of the group of fat-soluble vitamins and is in the form of retinol when it comes from animal sources, or carotenoid, a provitamin, when it comes from plant sources. The latter is considered a precursor of Vitamin A and is responsible for the color of fruits and vegetables, the best known being beta carotene.
WHAT IS IT FOR?
The functions of Vitamin A are innumerable. In fact, this vitamin acts on various aspects of the body and is essential in all phases of life. Among its main benefits are:
- Eye health (Vitamin A is responsible for the protection of the cornea and contributed to the proper functioning of the retina, which may improve night vision or prevent blindness);
- Prevention of respiratory infections;
- Strengthens the immune system;
- Antioxidant action (slows cell aging and fights free radicals);
- Stimulates the growth and development of bones, skin, hair, teeth and gums;
- Prevents aging and eliminates skin blemishes;
- Helps to treat problems of acne, skin ulcers or wrinkles, for example;
- Important for gestation, since it is essential for the development of the embryo (it contributes to the formation of the heart, eyes and ears, development of the shoulders, and stimulates the formation of growth hormone);
SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN A DEFICIENCY
The lack of Vitamin A in the body has several consequences as you can perceive (judging by its functions). Among the main symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency, we can enumerate:
- Difficulty in night vision or photophobia;
- Dryness or eye pain;
- Difficulties in color perception;
- Skin problems (such as acne);
- Mouth or dry skin;
- Lack of appetite;
- Dull hair;
- Immune problems (such as constant flu, for example);
- Fertility problems.
WHERE TO FIND?
Finding sources of Vitamin A is not difficult. Carrot, sweet potato, spinach, watercress, mango, Portuguese cabbage, peppers, broccoli, diospiros, meloa or melon, cabbage, pumpkin, papaya, orange, pumpkin, peach, chicken liver and other animals, egg yolk , cheese or milk, are just a few examples of foods rich in Vitamin A.
RECOMMENDED DAILY DOSE
The recommended daily dose of Vitamin A varies according to different criteria, such as age or sex (among others). Still, for adult men a dose of 2.0 mg per day is indicated, being 1.6 mg for women.
You know, do not forget to take your Vitamin A today.