The effects of vitamin A deficiency on your health

Vitamin A benefits

Also called retinol, vitamin A is an essential element in ensuring the health of your vision. It can be found in various forms such as provitamin A or even beta carotene. What is his role? What his nutritional intake? What to do in the event of a deficiency? Here are some questions we will try to clarify.

What is vitamin A?

The latter is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. It is found in foods of animal origin. He is in shape retinol. Can also be used in the form of carotenoids. In this case, we will mainly talk about beta carotene or provitamin A. These are precursor forms vitamin A and it can be found in plants. But you should know everything beta carotene swallowed does not necessarily transform retinol. In order to obtain normal vitamin activity, it is common to believe that retinol is 6 times more concentrated than beta carotene.

What are the functions of vitamin A and beta carotene?

The first is necessary for vision. It plays an important role in activating nerve impulses to the optic nerves. It also benefits growth by affecting cell differentiation. In addition, it promotes cell renewal. So it is important for the skin and mucous membranes. Finally, this vitamin contributes to the functioning of the immune system.

The second is best known for its antioxidant effects. It works synergistically with other trace elements such as vitamins C and E or even selenium. They protect the body from premature aging.

Nutritional benefits of vitamin A

For safety reasons, a dose higher than 1000 µg/day has been found to be toxic if this dose is added to the recommended daily dose. Overdose is especially dangerous for the following persons: pregnant women and children under 3 years of age. For this purpose, these people must avoid consuming liver at all costs, as the vitamin is abundant there. Here are some reference numbers:

  • A child between 1 and 3 years old should not consume more than 400 µg per day
  • For 10-12 year olds, the limit dose will be 550 µg per day
  • Breastfeeding women should not exceed 950 µg per day

Where can you find this vitamin?

to retinol found mainly in the following foods: cod liver oil (30,000 µg/100 g) or animal liver (1430-10,500 µg/100 g). Some products we consume regularly also contain it: butter (800 µg/100 g), eggs (235 µg/100 g) or even cream (390 µg/100 g) and cheese (265-345 µg/100 g).

to beta carotene mainly found in orange or green plants such as carrots, sweet potatoes (10500 µg/100 g), melons (1060 µg/100 g) or even spinach (4010 µg/100 g).

What to do if you lack vitamin A

In the case of vitamin A deficiencymust be allocated retinol. The goal is to treat symptoms and limit complications (a case of measles).

* Presse Santé aims to communicate health information in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT SHOULD THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

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