When it comes to remaining healthy and keeping our bodies functioning at their best, vitamin A is crucial. Vitamin A is important for our vision, immune system, reproduction, and metabolism, as well as the health of our heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Vitamin A's importance doesn't end there; it also possesses antioxidant qualities that may help prevent cells from free radical damage.
Salmon, spinach, and other green vegetables, milk, cheese, egg yolk, organ meats, beef liver, broccoli, squash, carrots, melons, mangos, and apricots are all good sources of vitamin A. A vitamin A supplement is also available in some breakfast cereals.
Adult women should strive for roughly 700 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A per day, whereas men should aim for closer to 900 micrograms (mcg) per day. Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the United States, but it is considerably more common in underdeveloped countries. Vitamin A insufficiency is more likely in people who have trouble digesting fat-soluble vitamins.
You may have nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and vertigo if you take too much vitamin A in the form of supplements. Too much vitamin A can cause skin irritation, joint and bone pain, birth abnormalities, bone weakening, liver damage, and other problems in the long run.
Ask your doctor for a blood test to check your retinol or beta-carotene levels if you're concerned you could be lacking in vitamin A.
Though vitamin A deficiency is usually uncommon, there are a few signs that you may not be getting enough, listed below:
Eyes that are dry
One of the earliest indicators of vitamin A deficiency is dry eyes.
Our eyes are protected and lubricated by a coating of fluid called tear film, which serves to keep the surface of the eyes clear while also protecting and lubricating them. Symptoms of dry eye might arise when the tear film is not of good quality.
Blindness at Night
Another early indicator of vitamin A insufficiency is night blindness. Vitamin A is a necessary component of rhodopsin, a protein in the retina that absorbs light. Rhodopsin is the 'rods' half of 'rods and cones,' and is essential for night vision.
Wounds That Aren't Healing
Vitamin A is necessary for wound healing to take place. One reason is that vitamin A helps to prevent excessive inflammation by modulating the body's inflammatory response.
Chest, Throat, and Respiratory Infections Have Increased
Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to infections of the throat, respiratory tract, and chest. But don't go out and buy vitamin A supplements just because you're deficient—more research is needed in this area, and supplementing might have some major negative effects if you're not insufficient.
Skin That Is Dry
Although vitamin A deficiency isn't the only cause of dry skin, eczema, and other skin problems, it may play a part. Retinol is a fairly prevalent term when looking at the components on skincare products. Retinol, it turns out, is produced from vitamin A and offers a slew of cosmetic advantages, including wrinkle reduction, skin smoothing, and more. After learning about this link, it's easy to see how vitamin A shortage could contribute to skin disorders.
Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to infertility in animals, according to research. Vitamin A is known to play a role in a variety of reproductive processes, but more research is needed to see if vitamin A insufficiency is linked to fertility issues in both men and women.
In the United States, vitamin A deficiency is uncommon unless you eat a very restricted diet or have a few specific medical issues. However, if you have any worries about vitamin A deficiency or any other vital nutrient deficiency, you should consult your doctor and get some blood tests done.