What is Vitamins A? and Deficiency of Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a role as an antioxidant in our body. It therefore fights the appearance of free radicals and cell damage. Therefore, vitamin A deficiency can cause certain problems. Many one asks, is vitamin a water soluble? Answer is No. Vit- A is not water soluble.
What is vitamin?
The word vitamin comes from the concept “vital amine”. “Vital” for being indispensable for life. And “amina”… Does the word “amina” suggest anything to you? Exactly, amino acids, because an amine is a nitrogen-containing compound. Do vitamins have anything to do with amino acids?
Vitamins are organic substances essential for the normal functioning of the body, they are found in small amounts in all foods, except those that are highly refined. Vitamins, as their etymology (from the Latinvita, life) suggests, are important for the life of the organism and for metabolic function. Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients for the proper functioning of the whole organism. Since they are involved in many rations and processes, it is clear that the right intake is essential for maintaining the health of the whole body.
Different types of vitamins
Kinds of vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, K.
Classification of vitamins
List of Vitamins are classified into two parts as below:
- Fat-soluble: in this category are vitamins K, E, D, A. Have you noticed? Together they form the word “keda”, so you can remember them. These can accumulate in our fat tissue, so if we eat them in excess, they cause toxicity.
- Water-soluble: in this category are all B vitamins and vitamin C. And we say that they are water-soluble because they do not accumulate in our fat and their excess is eliminated with our urine.
They belong to this group:
They belong, instead, to this group:
- B vitamins:
- Vitamin C or ascorbic acid.
Sources of vitamins
Vitamins are found in many foods in small amounts and are necessary for regular metabolic functions. Vitamins cannot be produced by the body (with the exception of Vitamin D) and must be taken through food. Let’s see what the main natural sources of vitamins are, what are the foods that contain the various groups of these substances.
Types of vitamins and their functions
- Vitamin A: Maintenance of the immune system, improvement of vision, maintenance of healthy skin, antioxidant.
- Vitamin B: Energy production, psychological functions, metabolization of sugars and fats, maintenance of the immune system.
- Vitamin C: Maintenance of the immune system, healthy teeth and gums, maintenance of healthy skin, antioxidant.
- Vitamin D: Healthy bones and tissues, modulation of cell growth, maintenance of the immune system, tooth growth.
- Vitamin E: Antioxidant, maintenance of the immune system, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, vision protection.
- Vitamin K: Blood clotting, strengthening of bones, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, antioxidant.
Vitamin A deficiency disease
What causes vitamin A deficiency in adults? Vit-A is necessary for the process that concerns vision and a first sign of vitamin A deficiency can be night blindness, or a delay in adapting to external light stimuli, when there are poorly lit environments. Prolonged deficiency can also lead to dry eyes or the formation of keratin debris in the conjunctiva.
Vitamin a deficiency causes: A vit-A deficiency can also cause recurrent colds, dry hair, bone malformations, developmental delay, infections, dry, wrinkled and exfoliated skin. Other symptoms are related to sensory perceptions, such as loss of sense of smell, hardening of the salivary glands in the mouth, loss of appetite, fatigue, frequent styes. When this vitamin is missing, anemia, joint pain, underdevelopment of the testicles, sterility and spontaneous abortions can also occur. Vitamin a Deficiency Symptom.
Vitamin A deficiency eye
Symptoms for vitamin a deficiency: There are symptoms that can make you assume vitamin A deficiency. The first definitely concerns the vision and you will notice a worsening of night vision. However, if retinol levels remain too low, the risk is to result in complete blindness. The reason is that the sclera, that is the white part of the eye, and the cornea, a pathology that takes the name of xerophthalmia, are dehydrated. They will then become thicker and foamy deposits will also form. A problem that is found above all among children who live in very poor areas of the world and therefore suffer from malnutrition.
What are the first two signs of vitamin A deficiency?
- Dry and rough skin.
- Eye inflammation affects the eyelids, surrounding tissues, and even eyes.
Vitamin A deficiency diseases list
Vitamin A deficiency disease: Vitamin A deficiency in children and Youngman 8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency. Where is vitamin A deficiency most common?
- Dry skin
- Dry eyes
- Night blindness
- Infertility and difficulty conceiving
- Delayed growth
- Throat and chest infections
- Poor wound healing
- hair loss
Above list that What disease is caused by lack of vitamin A?
Treatment of vitamin A deficiency
Treatment for vitamin A deficiency consists mainly of taking supplements and increasing foods that contain significant amounts of this nutrient. When the situation is very serious, it is switched to higher doses, which will then scale up as the symptoms decrease.
Prevention of vitamin a deficiency: I repeat, it is highly likely that, as far as vit-A is concerned, your diet is already sufficient. In any case, with a view to prevention, you may be interested in knowing which foods contain the most: vitamin a carrots.
- Foods of animal origin: meat, liver and liver oil of cod, egg yolk, butter, cheese and milk
- Fruits and vegetables of yellow and orange color: pumpkin, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, oranges, watermelon, berries, melons, yellow peaches
- Green leafy vegetables: spinach, broccoli
Vitamin A deficiency symptoms skin
vitamin a deficiency symptoms: Vitamin A is important for the creation and repair of skin cells. It also helps fight inflammation due to certain skin problems. Not getting enough vitamin A could be the cause of developing eczema and other skin problems. Eczema is a condition that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin. Several clinical studies have shown that alitretinoin, a prescription drug with Vit-A activity, is effective in treating eczema. In a 12-week study, people with chronic eczema who took 10-40 mg of alitretinoin per day experienced a reduction of up to 53 percent in their symptoms. Keep in mind that dry skin can have many causes, but chronic vit-A deficiency could be the reason.
What vitamin A foods?
Diet for vitamin A deficiency
1. Carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables
Vitamin A high food: Rich in carotenoid pigments, these fruits and vegetables contain a significant amount of beta-carotene, the precursor element of retinol. These food sources should not be neglected, in order to optimize possible intakes and ensure your daily needs.
- Carrots:Carrots are rich in beta carotene. Half a cup of raw carrots contains 459 mcg Trusted Source of vitamin A and 51% of the DV. A large carrot contains around 29 calories Trusted Source. This makes for a light and healthful snack, especially when eaten with hummus or guacamole.
- Pumpkin Pumpkin pie is another treat rich in vit-A, with one piece containing 488 mcg Trusted Source or 54% of the DV. This is because, like other orange vegetables, pumpkin is rich in beta carotene.
- Sweet potato One whole sweet potato, baked in its skin, provides 1,403 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A, which is 156% of the DV.
- Mango: A whole, raw mango contains 112 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A, or 12% of the DV.
- Apricots:or a sweet treat that is rich in vit-A, snack on dried apricots.Ten dried apricot halves contain 63 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A, which is 7% of the DV. Dried fruits are also high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Cantaloupe Melon: A half-cup of this summer melon provides 135 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A, which is 15% of the DV.
- Black-eyed peas: Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, and they are also rich in fiber. Each cup of boiled black eyed peas contains 66 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A and 7% of the DV.
- Spinach: Like other leafy green vegetables, spinach contains a wealth of nutrients. Each half-cup of boiled spinach provides 573 mcg Trusted Source of vitamin A, which is 64% of the DV.
- Sweet red pepper: A half-cup of raw sweet red bell pepper provides 117 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A, which is 13% of the DV.
Dried apricots For a sweet treat that is rich in vitamin A, snack on dried apricots. Ten dried apricot halves contain 63 mcg Trusted Source of vit-A, which is 7% of the DV. Dried fruits are also high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Vitamin a juice
2. Cod liver oil
The famous cod liver oil prized by our grandmothers contains vitamin A in significant quantities: 30,000 mcg of retinol per 100 g.
Cheese and more particularly Parmesan, Roquefort and Emmental contain retinol in its primary form:
- Parmesan cheese: 345 μg/100 g
- Roquefort: 295 μg/100 g
- Emmental: 265 μg/100 g
Cheeses are part of dairy products. Also interesting for their calcium content, it is advisable to consume them every day.
4. Fresh cream
Often considered too rich, fresh cream can however be integrated into a balanced diet. Adding fresh cream to your dishes helps meet the body’s need for retinol. Indeed, its vitamin A content is about 390 μg/100 g.
Eggs are definitely foods with many nutritional qualities. Indeed, rich in proteins and folic acids, they also contain vit-A (their content is 235 μg/100 g). But their cholesterol content limits their consumption.
Recommended dietary allowances for vitamin A as follows:
|Demographic||Daily amount (mcg)|
|Males aged 14+||900|
|Females aged 14+||700|
|Pregnant teens aged 14–18||750|
|Pregnant adults aged 19+||770|
|Breastfeeding teens aged 14–18||1,200|
|Breastfeeding adults aged 19+||1,300|
If you have difficulty seeing at night or are perhaps even night blind, then it may be that you lack vitamin A. This is shown by new research.
The fact that vitamin A has been shown to be of great importance for our night vision is because the vitamin is an essential component in the formation of one of the substances – rhodopsin – that helps us see at night. Rhodopsin or visual purple is found in the light-sensitive cells in the retina of the eye, which are also called the rods.
Your vision depends on two main photoreceptors located at the back of the eye. In order to see, light must first pass through the lens of the eye and then through the vitreous to penetrate several layers of neural retinas, finally reaching the two main receptors at the back, called rods and cones.
We primarily use the rods to see at night, the pegs to see during the day.
Vitamin A is a crucial component in the formation of rhodopsin, which constitutes the actual photopigment in the rods. In bright light, rhodopsin is split, in dim light the eye adapts so that more visual purple or rhodopsin is formed in the rods. Rhodopsin thus helps us to see at night. If, on the other hand, we lack vitamin A, rhodopsin cannot be formed, and we can develop night blindness.
Vitamin a for eyes
The night blindness disappeared
We must take good care of our eyes throughout our lives so that we can maintain good vision as far as possible. In this connection, our eyes need a number of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, which are important for the function of the cells and protection against oxidative stress. Here you can read more about how vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, certain omega-3 fatty acids and Q10 are of decisive importance for the health of the eyes. We also touch on some special antioxidants, which are found, for example, in eggs, salmon, spinach, broccoli, red pepper and real blueberries.
If you lack vitamin A, it is often absorbed fastest and most effectively in the form of retinol, which is found in e.g. cod liver oil. If you choose to consume beta carotenes, be very aware that imbalances in digestion or blood sugar and, not least, intake of medication can inhibit the conversion.
If you choose cod liver oil, it is crucial to choose a clean and stable cod liver oil. The liver is the body’s largest purification system, and also that of animals. Therefore, the risk of contamination is high. It is therefore important to make sure that the liver and cod liver oil are free of unwanted chemistry. Ecology, purity and stability are keywords when you go shopping.
For many years, scientists have worked to prove which substances are particularly good at protecting our eyes from diseases and impaired vision. And a number of antioxidants and plant dyes (pigments) have already been identified, which play a particularly important role in preserving the cells of the eye.
It is, among other things, large amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper. Together with yellow plant pigments (lutein and zeaxanthin), they can help slow down the development of the eye disease AMD, also known as age spots on the retina.
The eye has a complicated structure, so that it can focus the incoming light rays on the sensory cells of the retina. The light rays are then converted into electrical nerve signals, which are sent to the brain’s visual center. The light is mainly refracted in the cornea, and the pupil regulates the amount of light that enters the eye. Vision covers sharp central vision (reading vision), peripheral vision (orientation vision), color vision and twilight vision. Good vision therefore requires that all types of vision are intact. With age, the ability to see clearly at close range usually weakens, so reading glasses become necessary.
Dry eyes can make reading or wearing contact lenses more difficult, and the condition can decrease tolerance to tobacco smoke and air conditioning. Certain eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) are the most common causes of low vision and blindness in adults, and the risk increases with age.
AMD is a disease of the sharp vision center of the retina or the yellow spot (macula). In glaucoma, the pressure inside the eyeball increases. In cataracts, there is cloudiness in the lens of the eye. Eye diseases caused by local circulatory disorders are also widespread, and here we can mention NAION (non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy) and RAO (retinal artery occlusion).
The research suggests that certain vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and Q10 can protect against these eye diseases or slow down their development. In the case of several eye diseases, it can also be advantageous to take larger supplements to slow down the development.
- It is believed that around 250 million people worldwide suffer from an eye disease.
- Nutrient deficiencies and oxidative stress play a role.
- In oxidative stress, there is a mismatch between free radicals and protective antioxidants.
- Free radicals are some reactive molecules that can damage blood vessels, cells and proteins in the eye and elsewhere.
- Aging processes, poisoning, tobacco smoke, obesity, diabetes and chronic inflammation increase the impact of free radicals and the risk of oxidative stress.
Vitamin A and beta-carotene
Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Vitamin A is part of the structure of the protein rhodopsin, which enables us to see even when the light is weak. Vitamin A is also important for the cornea, which is the transparent membrane over the iris and the pupil. In addition, vitamin A is an important antioxidant that protects the eyes against oxidative stress.
Lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness, dry eyes and eye catarrh. And it is believed that several hundred thousand children, especially in Africa and Asia, become blind every year because they lack vitamin A.
Supplements with vitamin A (beta-carotene) and other antioxidants have shown a positive effect on glaucoma and AMD. This is evident, among other things, from an overview article in Nutrients from 2018 and AREDS Report No. 8 from 2001. Pure vitamin A (retinol) is found in animal sources such as cod liver oil, liver, liver pâté, egg yolk, butter and other fatty dairy products.
Beta-carotene is a precursor and is found in vegetable sources such as carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley, kale, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers and melons.
The body itself can convert beta-carotene into pure vitamin A (retinol). Pure vitamin A can be overdosed, and we can tolerate larger amounts of beta-carotene, which has also been used in several trials. It is said that carrots are good for the eyes, and this is due to the content of beta-catoten.
Vitamin A Hair Growth
Vitamin A is also known for its antioxidant capacity. Therefore, it is one of the recommended vitamins to promote hair growth. In animal studies, vitamin A deficiency was associated with various health problems, including excessive hair loss. In addition to being a great source of antioxidants, it helps the skin glands create sebum, capable of moisturizing the hair and keeping the hair healthy. We find it especially in vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, turnips, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, in cashews and nuts, in dairy products and in eggs.