Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is frequently accompanied in nature by vitamin D. A good food source of vitamin A contains a substantial amount of vitamin A and/or carotene, which is naturally converted into vitamin A in the body.
Increased beta-carotene levels seem to decrease the chance of developing lung cancer, a noteworthy effect for cigarette smokers or those regularly exposed to second hand smoke. Individuals with a low intake of beta-carotene have a 30% to 220% higher risk of developing lung cancer than persons who regularly absorb adequate levels of beta-carotene.
Vitamin A: Functions and Health Benefits
• Necessary for the growth and repair of body tissues
• Required for a healthy reproductive system
• Helps maintain soft, smooth, and disease-free skin
• Helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, gastro-intestinal tract, and the throat and lungs
• Reduces susceptibility to infections and protects against air pollutants
• Helps counteracts night-blindness and weak eyesight
• Current medical research shows that foods rich in vitamin A may help reduce the risk of many types of cancers.
Common Deficiency Symptoms Of Vitamin A
• Extreme deficiency cases can increase the risk of blindness (macular degeneration)
• Can lead to a lack of tear production
• An increased susceptibility to infections
• Rough, dry and scaly skin
• Loss of smell and appetite
• Frequent fatigue
Recommended Daily Value Of Vitamin A: 5000 IU (international units)
Most individuals will naturally meet or approach their daily value of vitamin A if they follow a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Many vitamin supplements contain the upper daily limit of vitamin A (10000 IU), which is usually too much for most individuals.