The human body will function well and will not have any problems if the nutrients that go in are balanced and enough in amounts. These nutrients come from various food sources that are taken during the day. These nutrients, however are complex in chemically, and are broken down to simpler forms by the digestive system. While there are many such important nutrients, the one that should not miss the list are the Vitamins.

Vitamins are specialized nutrient groups that help the human body maintain various crucial biochemical pathways in the body. The vitamins are again classified into various categories. The below write up is about one of the essential vitamins known as Vitamin A.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is also known as retinoid and is a fat-soluble vitamin. Chemically, Vitamin A is nothing but a group of unsaturated organic compound that include retinol, retinal esters etc. The basic function of Vitamin A is to maintain the retinal layer in the eye. Retina is a crucial part of the eye that helps in image perception and transfer to brain in the form of signal for analysis.

Vitamin A comes in two forms and they are:

  • Retinoids: These form of vitamin A is obtained from animal products.
  • Beta-carotene: This form is obtained from plant products.

Both the forms in balanced amounts are required for the human body to function well.

How does vitamin A work?

Well, Vitamin A carries out several biological functions in the body. The various forms of Vitamin A are solubilized by the intestinal lumen and then absorbed by the duodenum. From there, the same will be absorbed through the blood vessels to carry out specific functions. Most of the body’s vitamin A are stored in the liver and used as and when required by the body.

A blood plasma test can reveal the amounts of Vitamin A in the body and can provide an indication on its levels, if deficient or excess.

 Advantages of Vitamin A

  • Vitamin A helps majorly in maintaining a healthy eye sight. The vitamin is essential for a healthy retina in the eye.
  • The anti-oxidant property helps the body get rid of harmful free radicals.
  • Vitamin A has also proven benefits in skin care such as acne removal, wrinkle treatment etc.

Disadvantages of lower levels of Vitamin A

  • Deficiency of Vitamin A will lead to poor eye sight.
  • In adequate levels of the vitamin can lead to several lives associated problems.
  • Lower levels of the vitamin in pregnant women can lead to preterm birth and having chronic liver and lung problems.

Sources of Vitamin A

Mostly, sources of all vitamin A are through food. The food intake should possess balanced levels of the vitamin. However, the following are researched to contain adequate levels of Vitamin A and should be included in the diet.
  • Egg.
  • Whole Milk.
  • Sweet potato.
  • Carrots, &
  • Spinach.

A daily intake of the above food sources is essential to have adequate levels of Vitamin A in the body. Avoiding supplements is recommended until specified by a physical practitioner or dietician.

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