Vitamin A: role, benefits, recommended intake

Learn everything you need to know about Vitamin A, an antioxidant molecule that is also essential to enjoying good vision health.


What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for the body, which comes in various forms in food. For example, foods of animal origin contain several forms of vitamin A, such as than retinol, retina, retinoic acid or even retinyl phosphate. The fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin A called beta carotene or provitamin A. Vitamin A accumulates mainly after ingestion liver and is excreted gradually according to the needs of the body.

What is vitamin A used for?

Like vitamin E, vitamin A is an antioxidant it also has many benefits for skin, eyes and hair. Vitamin A plays an important role eye health because it especially allows the transmission of a nervous message at the level of the optic nerves. Therefore, adequate intake of vitamin A may reduce the risk of cataract or macular degeneration. Vitamin A is also involved in embryonic development, iron metabolism, cell growth, normal immune function, and regeneration. leather fabric and mucous membranes.

What vitamin A is recommended?

According to the Dietary References for the Population (RNP), the recommended amount of vitamin A for men is 750 µg (micrograms) per day. For women, this is 650 µg (micrograms) per day. It is recommended for children to consume between 450 and 550 µg, depending on the age group. A balanced diet usually meets all the body’s needs for vitamin A. However, in some cases it may be necessary to take vitamin A supplements on the advice of your doctor.

What form of vitamin A can be taken?

Vitamin A supplements can come in a variety of forms. Supplement in the form of tablets, capsules or oral ampoules is the most commonly used. Liquid vitamin A is also available in pharmacies as well vitamin A ointment or vitamin A eye drops. The ophthalmic vitamin A like Vitamin A Dulcis is usually given to relieve dry eyes or as an adjunctive treatment for corneal healing disorders. Some vitamin A creams also offered in cosmetics. This vitamin is a recognized anti-aging agent that acts on the surface and depth of the skin to stop skin aging.

Which foods contain the most vitamin A and beta carotene?

Food alone usually meets all the needs of vitamin A for both a child and an adult. When you are sure not create a deficiencytherefore, it is advisable to use foods rich in vitamin A. like :

  • poultry or beef liver;
  • sweet potato;
  • green carrots;
  • Cod liver oil;
  • pumpkins;
  • melon;
  • orange;
  • papayas;
  • soft butter;
  • an egg;
  • them spinach ;
  • cabbage.

Who needs vitamin A supplements?

The vitamin A deficiency most commonly occurs in people with disorders that interfere with the absorption of fat in the gut. This is the case, for example, with chronic diarrhea, cystic fibrosisor celiac disease. Hepatic impairment may also impair the accumulation of vitamin A in the liver. Generally, a healthy adult who does not have specific nutritional deficiencies or diseases does not need vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin A deficiency may occur in pregnant women, but vitamin A excess should be monitored. In fact, too much intake of this vitamin during pregnancy may cause birth defects. It is therefore essential that pregnant women do not eat too much vitamin A, which is rich in poultry or beef liver. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables that contain provitamin A are safe even during pregnancy. Therefore, you should always seek medical advice before taking vitamin A supplements. The same is true for babies who do not need vitamin A supplements in the absence of certain pathologies. This is especially true if they are consuming babies. milk containing all the nutrients necessary for their growth.

What are the risks of vitamin A overdose or underdose?

Excessive consumption vitamin A (retinol) especially possible with food supplements. This excess can cause a hair loss, dryness or rash of the skin, cracking, headache, weakening of the bones or even an increase in the amount of calcium in the blood. Accidental ingestion of high amounts of vitamin A in children, for example, can cause drowsiness within a few hours, as well as headaches, vomiting, nausea and even peeling of the skin. If these symptoms occur, it is advisable to see a doctor immediately and stop taking vitamin A.

Conversely, you can suffer vitamin A deficiency. In developed countries, this deficiency is quite rare, but can occur in the presence of liver failure or impaired intestinal fat absorption. In this case, the lack of vitamin A can lead to nocturnal or even complete blindness, dry eyes, skin and mucous membranes, a weakened immune system, but also to slow down the growth of children. A blood test is needed to diagnose vitamin A deficiency and then vitamin A supplements may be offered.

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