Vitamin A (also known as retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in certain types of meat, but some fruits and vegetables also contain certain compounds that your body can turn into vitamin A. Carrots, spinach, apricots, kale, and sweet potatoes are all particularly rich sources of those compounds. You probably know that you can benefit from vitamin A supplements or a diet that provides your body with a rich supply of vitamin A, but you may not know just why this vitamin can be vital to your physical well-being. Read on to discover ten significant and fascinating reasons why the higher intake of vitamin A could help to boost your health and improve your quality of life.
1) It improves your resistance to disease:
Vitamin A promotes strong mucous membranes, which helps to stop harmful bacteria and viruses from entering or damaging your body. In addition, lymphocytes (also known as white blood cells) depend on vitamin A, and these are the cells that fight infection when you contract an illness. Vitamin A has been proven to be especially effective when it comes to warding off viral infections, with studies showing that it is particularly adept in helping your body fight against measles and respiratory infections.
2) It helps to prevent urinary tract stones:
Urinary stones can cause nausea, vomiting and extreme pain, and they sometimes require that you be hospitalized for treatment. Thankfully, vitamin A produces calcium phosphate, a mineral compound that plays a role in stopping urinary stones from forming.
3) It promotes healthy teeth:
Dentin is the substance responsible for building up the hard material inside teeth, and dentin requires vitamin A. This means that consuming plenty of vitamin A can help to make sure that your teeth stay strong and durable throughout your life.
4) It can help to maintain (and even improve) visual acuity:
The health of your eyes depends on vitamin A (in its retinol form). Firstly, it is what endows you with the ability to differentiate light from dark, and so a diet rich in vitamin A can help to sharpen your night vision and help you adapt more quickly to low levels of lighting. Secondly, regular consumption of vitamin A has been shown to reduce your risk of suffering from various eye diseases (including macular degeneration and glaucoma, both of which can sometimes lead to blindness). Thirdly, eye drops containing vitamin A are the most effective treatment available for those who suffer from the painful dryness and irritation involved in dry eye syndrome.
5) It can improve your skin:
The free radicals that vitamin A helps to combat can cause damage to the skin. This means that a diet that contains plenty of vitamin A can help to look you looking younger for longer by discouraging dry skin, wrinkles, and patchy redness.
6) It promotes a healthy reproductive system:
Reproductive processes in both men and women depend on an adequate source of vitamin A. If you want to improve your fertility and ensure that your reproductive system is functioning properly, it is essential to add more vitamin A to your diet.
7) It promotes healthy bones:
The right amount of vitamin A will help to keep your bones strong and healthy, but it is important to note that ingesting too much vitamin A has actually been linked to an increased risk of suffering from bone fractures. It is thought that this is because excessive levels of vitamin A prompt your body to produce more osteoclasts (i.e. cells that break down bone).
8. Vitamin A deficiency causes skin problems and hair loss:
Vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in developing countries. It is connected to bumpy, dry skin and (eventually) hair loss, and you stand to suffer from the same health problems if you do not have enough vitamin A in your diet.
9) It may help to prevent certain forms of cancer:
Vitamin A has antioxidant properties, so it helps to protect your body against the damage caused by potentially dangerous free radicals. Some cancer experts believe that this sort of damage can cause the DNA changes that lead to cancer, so it is likely that consuming plenty of vitamin A will help to lower your risk of suffering from malignant tumors.
10) It improves your prospects if you suffer from a stroke:
Studies show that stroke victims whose bodies have more vitamin A at their disposal have a lower mortality rate and are also less likely to experience serious disabilities as a result of the stroke.
As is obvious from the above health benefits of consuming plenty of vitamin A, it is extremely important to your physical well-being. However, it is important to know that adults should not consume more than 3,000 mcg of vitamin A each day. It is recommended that adult females ingest 700mcg of vitamin A on a daily basis, while males should ingest around 900mcg. If you consume too much vitamin A, it can cause nausea, blurred vision and mood disturbances.