Vitamin A: role in human body and sources


July 18, Fineko/ Vitamins play an important role in healthy lifestyle, as many processes in the human body occur due to them. Health problems appear in case of deficiency of any vitamin. The body receives the main reserves of vitamins from the outside, through food. Small amount of vitamins is synthesized in the body, so be sure to take foods rich in vitamins.

Vitamin A or retinol is in Top 5 of vitamins necessary for the life support of the body. It accumulates as a reserve in liver. Long period spent without vitamin A containing eating leads to its deficiency.

Deficiency of vitamin A leads to such complaints as stunting in children, night blindness (deterioration of vision at night), itching, flaking of the skin, vision impairment, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, hair loss, dandruff, and decreased appetite.  If vitamin A deficiency continues for a long time, it can lead to irreversible, serious processes in the body. Both the lack of vitamins and their excess can cause serious problems.

Excess of vitamin A can cause such complaints as increase in size of the liver, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, diarrhea, headache, lethargy, redness of the face, pain in the lower extremities, change of color of the palms and heels, infertility, menstrual disorders in women. An acceptable dose of vitamin A should be considered especially for pregnant women. Thus, an excess of vitamin A can lead to developmental disorders and various pathologies of the fetus.

The main sources of vitamin A are animal products: liver, yolk, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, cheese; vegetable products: carrots, pumpkin, sweet pepper, spinach, broccoli, green onions, parsley, tomato, apricot, peach, legumes, etc.

Due to the fact that vitamin A dissolves in fats, its absorption is difficult during low-fat diets.  The absorption of vitamin A is also influenced by zinc and vitamin E.