What is Vitamin A

Vitamin A Infographic

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for your body to function properly and healthily. The benefits of vitamin A range from younger looking skin to better vision. Check out the comprehensive information on vitamin A that you need to know.

What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds that are responsible for the maintenance or regulation of various parts/and or functions of the human body. This fat-soluble vitamin is stored in your liver and there are two types of dietary vitamin A: preformed vitamin A and pro-vitamin A. Preformed vitamin A is available in seafood, meat, poultry and dairy food while pro-vitamin A is found in plant-based foods. The most common type of pro-vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables is beta-carotene. You may also get vitamin A from dietary supplements such as beta-carotene or retinyl palmitate.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine states “[v]itamin A helps form and maintain teeth, healthy skin, mucous membranes and skeletal and soft tissues. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye.”

Forms of Vitamin A
There are many forms of vitamin A and its derivatives, but the major forms of vitamin A are:

  • Retinol – The entire vitamin A molecule
  • Retinal – Form of vitamin A largely involved in eye health
  • Retinoic Acid – Vitamin A molecule broken down
  • Dehydroretinol – Vitamin A2
  • Carotenes – These include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and gamma-carotene

Skin Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is capable of a great many things and some of these relate to helping you achieve healthy, beautiful skin. There are several ways in which your skin benefits from vitamin A:

  • Supports Skin Health and Cellular Growth – Vitamin A is essential for your skin to heal itself and it increases the rate of wound healing. Additionally, vitamin A helps you to re-grow healthy skin cells and promotes a healthy cellular membrane. You are probably aware that vitamin A is frequently used for anti-aging purposes. Collagen is one of the greatest skin ingredients to reduce the visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, and vitamin A increases your collagen production.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – Vitamin A is full of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and works to decrease any inflammation in your skin. Vitamin A also normalizes your blood flow to help reduce signs of rosacea.
  • Helps Prevent Cancer – There is evidence suggesting that vitamin A helps prevent several types of cancer including oral, lung, skin and breast cancers. A part of why vitamin A may be helpful in preventing skin cancer is that it helps your body eradicate any pre-cancerous skin lesions.

Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Your diet is one of the best sources of vitamin A. Orange and yellow vegetables have high amounts of vitamin A as do dark, leafy greens. You can also receive vitamin A from meat, fish, poultry and dairy sources. Some of the absolute best dietary sources of vitamin A are:

  • Carrots – 21384 IU/one cup serving
  • Sweet Potatoes – 18443 IU/one whole sweet potato
  • Beef Liver – 14363 IU/four ounce serving
  • Kale – 6693 IU/one cup serving
  • Spinach 2813/one cup serving

When it comes to healthy bodily maintenance and functioning, vitamin A is a superstar. Diet is an important aspect of meeting your daily recommended value of vitamin A, but there are also dietary supplements available. For the best skin benefits, there are tons of topical products ranging from cleansers to prescription treatments that help your skin look its absolute best. Next time you’re at your local market, be sure to stock up on some (or all) of the above foods to reap the benefits that vitamin A bestows on your body.

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