Vitamin A: Role, Benefits, Recommended Intake

Find out everything you need to know about vitamin A, an antioxidant molecule also essential for good visual health.


What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for the body found in various forms in food. Foods of animal origin, for example, contain several forms of vitamin A such as of retinol, retinal acid, retinoic acid or even retinyl phosphate. The Fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin A called beta-carotene or provitamin A. Once ingested, vitamin A is largely stored in the body liver It is gradually released according to the needs of the body.

What is Vitamin A used for?

Just like Vitamin E, Vitamin A is an antioxidant, it also contains Many benefits for skin, eyes and hair. Vitamin A plays an essential role in eye health because in particular it allows the transmission of the nerve message at the level of the optic nerves. Thus, adequate intake of vitamin A can reduce the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Vitamin A is also involved in fetal development, in iron metabolism, in cell growth, in the normal functioning of the immune system and in regeneration. skin tissue and mucous membranes.

What is the recommended amount of vitamin A?

According to the Population Nutritional References (RNP), the recommended intake of vitamin A for men is 750 micrograms (mcg) per day. 650 micrograms (mcg) per day for women. In children, the recommended intake is between 450 and 550 mcg depending on the age group. A balanced diet usually covers all of the body’s vitamin A needs. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to take a vitamin A supplement on the advice of a doctor.

In what form can vitamin A be taken?

Vitamin A supplements can come in many different forms. food supplement In the form of tablets, capsules or drinkable ampoules It is the most used. Liquid Vitamin A can also be bought completely from pharmacies Vitamin A ointment or vitamin A eye drops. The ophthalmic vitamin A Like Vitamin A Dulcis It is generally prescribed to relieve dry eyes or as an adjunctive treatment for corneal healing disorders. Some Vitamin A creams It is also presented in cosmetics. This vitamin is a recognized anti-aging agent that works both on the surface and in the depth of the skin to reduce skin aging.

What are the foods richest in vitamin A and beta-carotene?

Food alone usually meets all the vitamin A needs of both a child and an adult. to make sure Do not develop into a deficiencySo it is recommended to consume Vitamin A rich foods Like :

  • Poultry or beef liver.
  • sweet potato ;
  • raw carrot
  • cod liver oil;
  • pumpkin;
  • watermelon
  • orange;
  • papaya;
  • soft butter
  • the egg;
  • spinach;
  • cabbage;

Who needs a vitamin A supplement?

The Vitamin A deficiency It usually appears in people with disorders that interfere with the intestinal absorption of fats. This is for example a case of chronic diarrhea, cystic fibrosis or even celiac disease. Liver disorders can also interfere with the storage of vitamin A in the liver. Usually, a healthy adult who does not suffer from certain nutritional deficiencies or certain diseases does not need a vitamin A supplement.

In pregnant women, vitamin A deficiency can occur, but an excess of vitamin A should be monitored rather. In fact, excessive consumption of this vitamin During pregnancy It can cause birth defects. It is therefore essential that pregnant women do not eat poultry or beef liver which is rich in vitamin A on a regular basis, on the other hand, fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin A are considered safe even during pregnancy. Therefore, a doctor’s advice will always be necessary before you start taking vitamin A supplements. The same is true for infants who, if they do not have a specific disease, do not need vitamin A supplementation. This is especially the case if they are consuming infants. Milk provides all the nutrients needed for their growth.

What are the risks in case of an overdose of vitamin A or an overdose?

Excess consumption Vitamin A (retinol) Especially possible when taking nutritional supplements. This excess can then lead to Hair loss, dry skin or rash, cracking, headache, weak bones or even an increased level of calcium in the blood.. In case of accidental ingestion of a large amount of vitamin A, in children, for example, drowsiness may appear within a few hours, but also headache, vomiting, nausea and even peeling of the skin. In the event of symptoms of this kind, it is advised to consult a doctor quickly and stop taking vitamin A.

On the contrary, it is also possible to suffer Vitamin A deficiency. This type of deficiency is very rare in industrialized countries, but it can occur in the case of liver disorder or disorders that alter the intestinal absorption of fats. In this case, a lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness or even complete blindness, dry eyes, skin and mucous membranes, a weakened immune system, but also slow down the growth of children. A blood test is needed to diagnose vitamin A deficiency and vitamin A supplementation can then be given.

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