Our appearance, our functioning and behavior are inseparably connected with how we feed ourselves. The compound that is necessary for the proper functioning of the body is, among others, vitamin A. The purpose of this article is to bring its health-related character closer to the body.
Vitamin A is a group of organic chemicals that belong to retinoids. Among the many substances that make up its composition, the most important is retinol and its derivatives. Certain carotenoids, including -carotene, can be a source of vitamin A. -carotene is the strongest precursor of vitamin A. After delivery with food it is converted to retinol. To determine the amount of vitamin A in the food you eat, you should take into account both the amount of retinol and the amount of vitamin derived from the -carotene consumed.
This substance is found mainly in food of plant origin in the form of provitamin A, mainly -carotene. Its rich source are vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, parsley, spinach, kale, broccoli and fruits (apricots, peaches). If you eat products containing -carotene, remember that vitamin A is fat-soluble, so it is important that the products are consumed with the addition of fats or products that contain it. Retinol and its derivatives are also found in animal products, such as offal, eggs, ripening cheese, butter, and some marine fish.
Where does it apply?
Vitamin A is used as a supplement to the daily diet. It increases the strength of bones and teeth. The previously mentioned retinol affects the skin, nails and hair, which is why it is very often found in numerous cosmetic preparations.
Action in the human body
The action of vitamin A is anti oxidative and regenerative. Its most important properties are:
- regulation of the functioning of the eyes and the growth of bones and teeth,
- strengthening the skin and its products (epidermis, hair, nails),
- proper functioning of the immune system,
- participation in protein metabolism,
- supporting RNA production,
- use in the prevention of cancer,
- protection of the respiratory epithelium against microorganisms.
Supplementation and deficiency symptoms
For topical use of vitamin A, retinoic acid is used in the form of a cream or facial balsam at a concentration of 0.01 to 0.10%.
Disorders resulting from a deficiency of vitamin A include psoriasis, dry skin, worsening of eyesight (which may result in twilight blindness), alopecia areata, diarrhea, acne and deterioration of well-being. Symptoms of deficiency may also include infections and inhibition of growth and development of young organisms.
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