Vitamin A encompasses a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds critical for maintaining overall health. Many foods deliver the health benefits of vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, and broccoli, along with certain meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products. A deficiency in vitamin A can have adverse consequences that compound as you age.
Protects Eye Health
Vitamin A can improve vision and keep your eyes healthy. It is a critical component of the rhodopsin molecule, which is activated when light shines on the retina. The National Eye Institute found that high levels of antioxidants such as vitamin A may reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration by about 25 percent.
Improves Skin and Hair
Vitamin A helps the skin grow and also improves skin repair. It is the active ingredient in most skin-renewal products used to treat acne and wrinkles. It contributes to the production of sebum, the oil that helps maintain proper moisture levels in the skin and hair. If you want radiant skin and hair, add more foods rich in vitamin A to your diet.
Cancer Fighting Properties
Upping your intake of foods with vitamin A could help prevent cancer development. Retinoid can block the growth of cancer cells in the bladder, breast, prostate, skin, and lungs. Adequate intake of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of lung cancer. One meta-analysis suggests that some forms of vitamin A may help protect against prostate cancer.
Your body needs cholesterol to function because it is involved with the production of hormones and serves as the foundation of your cell membranes. Too much cholesterol, however, can create a buildup in your blood vessels, increasing your risk for heart disease. Vitamin A may help lower cholesterol levels for optimal heart health.
Helps Bones and Teeth
Vitamin A effectively maintains healthy teeth and bones. Dentin, which requires vitamin A to form, makes up the hard, strength-giving layer inside our teeth. Low levels of retinol are linked with reduced bone mineral density. A study done at the University of Perugia in Italy found an increase in vitamin A in older adults significantly lowered osteoporosis.
Vitamin A strengthens entry points such as the lining of the eyes, respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. The vitamin was the topic of a study in India that revealed children with lower levels of vitamin A had a higher risk of urinary tract infections.
Pregnancy and Vitamin A
It is crucial to not overreach with your vitamin A intake during pregnancy. However, during your third trimester, some expectant mothers experience night blindness due to vitamin A deficiency. Maintain reasonable vitamin A consumption throughout pregnancy, based, of course, on the doctor’s orders. Vitamin A also aids in lung development and is critical to the fetus.
Promotes Tissue Repair
Besides being vital to skin health, vitamin A could aid in wound healing. Research shows animals benefit from vitamin A, especially after surgery. Vitamin A strengthens skin and wound repair thanks to its role in cell division and growth.
Supports Muscle Growth
Bone health is essential, especially during childhood. Vitamin A plays a critical role in ensuring proper muscle growth in children and teens, lowering the chances of developing muscular dystrophy. The vitamin is vital for aging adults, too, and can help protect tissues and muscles. If you have a hard time incorporating foods with vitamin A into your everyday meals, you can also take a supplement.
Slows Signs of Aging
Vitamin A can enhance skin overall and help slow the aging process by minimizing age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. Vitamin A promotes cell turnover and promotes collagen synthesis. Internally, the fat-soluble vitamin helps cells function properly and is essential for proper internal development.