Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the liver and essential nutrient for humans; it comes in two forms: retinol- found in animal products and beta-carotene found in plants food (especially brightly coloured fruits and vegetables) which the body converts into vitamin A. Both forms of vitamin A need some fat in the diet to aid absorption. Vitamin A has a number of important functions and is essential for a healthy skin, eyesight, growth and reproduction.

Fat-soluble vitamins do not dissolve in water; They are distributed in the body as fats and are stored in the liver and fatty organs.

Vitamin A promotes the growth of strong teeth and bones, and keeps the skin healthy. In the eye, vitamin A is essential for the formation of a visual purple (the pigment that allows us see in dim light). Vitamin A is a well-known immune system booster and helps the body fight infections. It also plays an important role in wound healing. Moreover, vitamin A helps to maintain fertility and is important for fetal development.

Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals molecules that damage healthy cells, speed up the ageing process and can cause a number of serious diseases to develop.

Deficiency symptoms

Poor night vision


Dry, flaky skin

Frequent colds or infection

Mouth ulcers.

Vitamin A as a Remedy

Acne, wrinkles and psoriasis

Many face creams contain vitamin A; Even drugs derived from vitamin A are used to treat severe acne. As an antioxidant, vitamin A neutralizes free radicals, substances that destroy collagen and are known to play a treatment role in inflammatory disorders of psoriasis.

Viral infections

Vitamin A helps to protect against sore throats, colds and other viral infections, and shortens the duration of such illnesses. So Vitamin A plays a role in strengthening the immune system and improving resistance.

Main functions of vitamin A

  • Antioxidant
  • Immunity booster (vitamin A helps the body natural defense against illness and infection (the immune system work properly)
  • Essential for vision
  • Promotes a healthy skin
  • Fertility (vitamin A helps to maintain fertility and is important for fetal development).

Sources of vitamin A

Retinol is found in meats, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Beta-carotene is present in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables; yellow, red and green (leafy) vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers; yellow fruit such as mango, papaya and apricots. One carrot alone should provide your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A (700mcg).

Any vitamin A your body does not need immediately is stored in the liver for future use.

Foods sources of vitamin A are:

● Liver

● Cheeses, milk and yoghurt

● eggs

● Oily fish and Cod liver oil

● Carrots

● Sweet potatoes

● Butter

● Tomatoes


Retinol (a form of Vitamin A) can cause birth defects in an unborn child and should not be taken as a supplement by pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy. Pregnant women should also avoid cod liver oil and liver, as these also contain high amounts of retinol. Excessive amounts of beta-carotene turn your skin yellow, but your colour will return to normal if you reduce consumption.

Risk & Toxicity

Preformed vitamin A can be toxic when people consume too much, either through their diet or through supplementation.

Consuming too much preformed vitamin A can lead to vitamin A toxicity or hypervitaminosis A.

Symptoms can include:

● changes in skin color

● peeling on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet

● cracked skin on the fingers

● psoriasis

● allergic contact dermatitis

● ectropion, which affects the skins around the eyes

● dry lips, mouth, and nose, which can increase the risk of infection

● reduced sebum production.

Long-term overuse can lead to:

● changes in bone formation

● high cholesterol levels

● liver damage

● nervous system changes leading to headaches, nausea, and vomiting.


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Disclaimer: This blog provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (doctor, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in and questions about what may be best for your overall health.

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