Vitamin A was given the first letter of the alphabet for a name because it was the first vitamin to be discovered. It was found that vitamin A has a large number of uses in the body including keeping eyes healthy, aiding cell growth and also helping boost the immune system. However, vitamin A is not only absorbed directly but it is also created by the body by converting beta carotene into vitamin A.
Vitamin A itself is found in a number of foods such as eggs, milk, liver and meat. Beta carotene that the body can convert into vitamin A is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially the red, orange and green coloured ones. The most important point to remember that consuming too much pure vitamin A can be toxic. It is essential not to exceed the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A. The actual recommended allowance of vitamin A varies depending on a person’s age, sex and other factors. While the actual amount of vitamin A consumed may be toxic if the recommended daily allowance is exceeded, there is a far higher limit to how much beta carotene can be consumed. Therefore it is advisable to concentrate on obtaining the greatest amount of beta carotene which the body can then convert to vitamin A, rather than consuming vast quantities of pure vitamin A rich foods.
Many people will remember being told that eating lots of carrots helps you to see in the dark and that is down to the vitamin A that is produced from the high levels of beta carotene that are found in the vegetables. Other foods which have high levels of beta carotene that can be converted to vitamin A include tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Beta carotene is not only used to form vitamin A, but it is also a powerful antioxidant in itself. None of the beta carotene that is absorbed is wasted as any excess after conversion to vitamin A has taken place is used to fight the harmful free radicals within the body. Vitamin A also helps fight infections and illnesses by helping tissues that line various parts of the body, including the eyes, mouth, nose, throat and lungs, to grow and also to repair them if they are damaged to prevent infection. Children also need plenty of vitamin A to help their bones and teeth to develop properly.
Vitamin A was first discovered back in 1912, by a Polish biochemist named Casimir Funk. He came up with the word vitamine, which was later given the name vitamin. Funk was the first to discover vitamins as we know them today, although vitamin A was actually the first one discovered, hence the letter “A” in the title of the vitamin.
You can find vitamin A in natural foods such as oranges and yellow fruits. It can also be found in vegetables as well, such as spinach and fats. When found in vegetables, vitamin A is water soluble, coming in the form of beta carotene. The beta carotene form of vitamin A can be eliminated from your body through natural processes, making it an excellent way to get vitamin A.
Vitamin A is required by the body on an every day basis to maintain healthy skin and keep your eyesight on track. There are many people who say that carrots provide enough vitamin A to prevent you from getting night blindness. The fact is, ancient Egyptian doctors prescribed liver in their time, which they said contained enough vitamin A to combat night blindness. Vitamin A is also known as an antioxidant, which makes it ideal to prevent cancer and anti aging. Along with these benefits, it also helps with your immune system as well.
To get the proper absorption of vitamin A, you’ll need to consume fat. Those of you who happen to be on a low fat or restricted diet, simply may not be getting the right amounts of vitamin A from your supplements that you may think. To get the proper absorption of vitamin A in your diet, you’ll need to consume a high enough level of protein. Protein combines with vitamin A to make it stronger, and help it move through your body.
On a normal day, you should be consuming around 5,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A. Depending on your health and your age, you may need to consume more or less. The safest form of vitamin A is beta carotene as mentioned above, and it can be taken in much larger doses. No matter what age you may be, you can feel safe to consume high amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene.
If you don’t consume enough vitamin A in your diet, you’ll end up with a deficiency. A deficiency is never a good thing, as it normally results in skin problems, increased infections, and even night blindness as well. A prolonged deficiency in vitamin A can put you at a risk for cancer as well, and you’ll also miss out on any effects of anti aging that the vitamin might have. Although you should begin taking it immediately if you have a deficiency, the effects wouldn’t be the same as they would be if you stayed up to date with the right amount on a daily basis.
On the other hand, if you are getting too much vitamin A, you’ll put yourself at risk for pain in your joints, abdomen, and your bones. Even though too much or not enough can cause you serious side effects, you should always get the right amount in your diet. Vitamin A is very important, and should always be included in your diet. You can find it in many foods, or take supplements that include the well needed vitamin. If you are going to take supplements, you should make sure that they provide the right amounts - with no side effects.