You would agree if I mentioned that the presence of Vitamins and Minerals make up as the quintessential part of our overall well being, doesn’t it? But, have you ever wondered how each of these vitamins is essential for our entire well being? The benefits of Vitamin A have been very pronounced in various aspects of our daily livelihood which is why it is necessary that one consumes it in sufficient amount.
Vitamin A is one of those “underdog” vitamins that not many people are well aware of until and unless they are faced with a side effect because of their deficiency. Not just for the eyes, this Vitamin goes above and beyond that.
In this article, we are going to glance through the various Vitamin A benefits for health, skin as well as hair that not many people are often aware of.
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A, otherwise known as Retinol, is an essential Vitamin that is needed by the body for the overall growth and development of the body. It also plays a very crucial role in cell recognition, acute vision, and reproduction and even on one’s immune system.
While the majority of the people often tend to only recognize Vitamin A just because of its functions as Vitamin, it also has beneficial functions as a hormone which helps in an expression of genes in the body. The presence of this Vitamin in the body has effective impacts on the salient functions of the heart, lungs, kidney and a few other important organs in the body.
With all that being said, it is necessary to understand for a fact that there are a few sub-categories of Vitamin A based on their forms and their presence in the body.
Some of the common types of Vitamin A include:
ProVitamin A: An inactive form of the active Vitamin A which is stored in the body and saliently converted to Vitamin A as per the body requirements. It is found in a number of fruits and vegetables and a number of other plant based products.
Retinol: This is the active and one of the most predominant variants of Vitamin A which is found in the blood. The storage form of the Vitamin A is the retinyl palmitate. It is found in animal derived foods.
Beta-carotene: This is yet another inactive precursor of Vitamin A which is predominantly found in plant sources.
How is Vitamin A Good for You?
Vitamin A is one of those few Vitamins that doesn’t just limit their benefits to the common realms of health but extend it to boost one’s overall well being. Vitamin A is loaded with essential antioxidants which help in ensuring the maintenance of the levels of oxidative stress in the body which is definitely something that is often the primary contributing factor to a number of underlying health ailments.
While the deficiency of this specific Vitamin can end up resulting in severe consequences ranging from night blindness to lack of growth and scaly skin, the excess of it in the body can inflict negative implications as well which is why it is necessary to be assured of the correct balance of it.
Yet another reason why Vitamin A is actually beneficial for your health is because of fact that it is a fat soluble Vitamin and is an antioxidant on top of that. The presence of Vitamin A is beneficial for one’s health and longevity.
Good Sources of Vitamin A
Given the fact that there is predominantly two variant of Vitamin, an active and a precursor, both of these have different sources that they are derived from.
Some of the common sources of Retinol, or the active form of Vitamin A include:
- Meats from the animal organs, preferably livers
- Fatty fishes like that of salmon and herring
- Butter and cheese
Some of the common sources of carotenoids (antioxidant form of Vitamin A) which is later converted into Vitamin A in the body include:
- Majority of the orange coloured vegetables
- Other leafy green vegetables
How Much Vitamin A Should One Consume Per Day?
The intake of Vitamin A is predominantly dependant on one’s age and sex alike. It varies depending on these two criteria. The Vitamin A which is primarily sourced and consumed via the plant or animal derivatives are often considered and measured as retinol activity equivalents (RAE).
According to standard norms,
1 RAE = 1 mcg of retinol + 12 mcg of beta-carotene
In order to make it easier to understand, we have made a tabular approach to explain the optimal daily consumption of Vitamin A, based on age and sex of an individual.
|Sl. No.||Age||Sex||Daily Consumption|
|1.||6 months||Both Male and Female||400 mcg|
|2.||7-12 months||Both Male and Female||500 mcg|
|3.||1-3 years||Both Male and Female||300 mcg|
|4.||4-8 years||Both Male and Female||400 mcg|
|5.||9-13 years||Both Male and Female||600 mcg|
|6.||From 14 years||Male – 900 mcg
Female – 700 mcg
|7.||19-50 years||Male – 900 mcg
Female – 700 mcg
During pregnancy – 770 mcg
During breastfeeding – 1300 mcg
Chart source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219486.php
What are the Benefits of Vitamin A?
As mentioned in some of the prior sections, the health benefits of Vitamin A are sourced majorly from its antioxidant properties. If you are here wondering about the various retinol benefits for health, skin and hair, this is the section you need to glance through.
- Bone Health
- Vitamin A for Cold
- Vitamin A Boosts Immune System
- Vitamin A Increases Fertility
- Vitamin A to Cure Genital Warts
- Prevents Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Prevents Urinary Stones
- Vitamin A Good for Acne
- Vitamin A for Black Heads
- Vitamin A for Burns
- Vitamin A Lighten Dark Circles
- Vitamin A for Dry Skin
- Vitamin A for Eczema
- Slows Down the Aging Process
- Reduces Hair Loss and Promotes Hair Growth
Vitamin A Health Benefits
While the majority of people often start and end the list of common health benefits of Vitamin A with its pronounced effects on vision, it needs to be known that the list of benefits surpass that. Here are some of the common health benefits of Vitamin A that you probably were not even aware of.
Check Out the Most Popular Potent Benefits For Vitamin A
1. Benefits of Vitamin A for Eyesight
The presence of retinol and even beta-carotene is essential for the protection of the surface of the eyes, cornea. The consumption of Vitamin A in permissible amounts helps in boosting vision and promoting better eye health.
Macular degeneration which is one of the leading causes of degrading condition of one’s eye health can be easily boosted and cured by the beta-carotene which is the precursor of the Vitamin A. People who indulge themselves with a health multivitamin diet (including Vitamin A) (R) have been found to develop lowered risks of developed eye related problems.
The adequate consumption of Vitamin A also keeps the possibility of contraction of Night Blindness at bay.
2. Benefits of Vitamin A for Brain
One of the bioactive metabolite of Vitamin A, Retinoid Acid, plays a very crucial role in brain functioning. Not only is it an impeccable signalling molecule in the brains of adult individuals, it also plays a crucial role in the regulation of gene products and even in the modulation of neurogenesis.
Vitamin A for brain activity is also important for the proper survival of the neurons as well as in the synaptic plasticity. In a conducted study (R) on rodents suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, it was found that the dietary supplementation of Vitamin A had pronounced benefits in improving their learning and memory along with boosting their cognitive abilities. This was more than enough to insinuate the possible benefits of Vitamin A in the brain function.
3. Benefits of Vitamin A for Bone Health
While Vitamin D is often the only Vitamin that is connected when one talk about bone health, many people are not even aware of the amazing benefits that Vitamin A projects on one’s bones (R).
The reduced levels of retinol in the blood (R) often tend to contribute to lowered levels of bone mineral density which is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis. With that being said, it is also important to maintain an optimal level of Vitamin A levels in the body for effective results because the excess, as well as the deficiency of it, has adverse effects on the body.
4. Benefits of Vitamin A for Cancer
Even the ongoing array of research and studies concerning the field of cancer, there have been implications linking the possible relation between the increased levels of Vitamin A consumption being a potent prevention method for cancer.
There have been some conducted studies (R) concerning retinol and all of them have concluded the fact that the sustained levels of retinol help in lowering risks of development of skin, bladder, prostate, breast and even lung cancer to a certain extent. The only thing to assure is to moderate the intake of Vitamin A through food sources to reap optimum health benefits.
5. Benefits of Vitamin A for Cold
Although there is little to no concrete reasoning to support the claims regarding the effects of Vitamin A benefits for cold, it is believed that the activity of boosting the overall immunity (R) is what helps contribute to keeping the signs and symptoms of a cold at bay.
The higher antioxidant levels in Vitamin A helps keep oxidative stress in limits which is exactly what helps in protecting one’s immune system and boosting the overall immunity. The better the immunity, the better it can fight back any kind of vector responsible for causing cold and cough.
6. Benefits of Vitamin A for Boosting Immune System and Immunity
Vitamin A plays a quintessential role in the regulation and maintenance of one’s overall immune (R) health. In a conducted study, it was noted that the deficiency of this Vitamin especially contributed to altered functions of the immune cells.
Several studies (R) have been conducted in this regard which has all concluded the same statement that the lack of sufficient levels of Vitamin A in the body blocks the successive regeneration of the mucosal barrier, thus projecting the body to more risks of infections. This was easily counteracted with the salient supplementation of Vitamin A which is what ended up concluding the fact that this specific vitamin plays a crucial role in strengthening the immune system.
7. Benefits of Vitamin A to Increase Fertility
Vitamin A has amazing antioxidant properties which is what churns beneficial results in boosting one’s fertility, for both men and women alike. It is believed that the presence of beta-carotene in the body gets rid of the excessive levels of free radicals in the body.
The heightened levels of free radicals in the body often end up affecting the potent sperm and ovum in the body, thus reducing fertility in an individual. The antioxidant properties of the beta-carotene (R) often end up eradicating the excess free radicals and prevent the levels of heightened oxidative stress in the body.
8. Benefits of Vitamin A to Cure Genital Warts
The skin healing and the general Vitamin A benefits for Skin is what plays out its cards in curing the appearance of genital warts in an individual. The topical application of the Vitamin A on the area of the wart successfully helps in getting rid of the wart and diminishing it in size in comparable amounts.
There has been on study (R) that has been conducted to test out the potential benefits of the topical application of Vitamin A on the area of the skin wart to get rid of it for good. Even with the possible conclusion that it actually does help in minimizing the size of the wart, there still needs to be further studies on the subject to project the beneficial effects of it in the long run.
9. Benefits of Vitamin A for Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
While there have been no direct implications of the Vitamin A benefits for the cure of Urinary Tract Infection, there has been a salient correlation of the ability of Vitamin A in boosting one’s immunity (R) being the key to preventing the occurrence of the UTIs in the first place.
The combination of Vitamin A and Vitamin C has very pronounced benefits in healing the infection in the urinary tract. While the vitamin A helps in boosting the immune system to fight back against the infection, the Vitamin C projects its antimicrobial properties (R) to help fight the subjective microbes causing the infection in the first place.
10. Benefits of Vitamin A in Preventing Urinary Stones
The people who have suffered the wrath of urinary stones know how much of a painful experience it is. The urinary stones, for the most part, develop in the kidneys which then propagate to the urinary bladder and the ureters. Some of the common symptoms of urinary stones include frequent urination, discharge of blood while peeing (hematuria), and burning sensation while urination, abdominal pain etc.
Now, you must be wondering where does Vitamin A fit into this narrative, right? A conducted study (R) found that the reduced levels of Vitamin A in the body often resulted in the excess presence of calcium oxalate crystals in the body which is what causes the stones in the first place.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin
Much like the overall health, the Vitamin A, retinol as well as beta-carotene have pronounced benefits in bettering one’s skin as well. This specific section is to highlight the common skin problems that can be healed with Vitamin A.
11. Benefits of Vitamin A for Acne
The effect of Vitamin A in treating the associated problems of acne is definitely something that is primarily dependant on the antioxidant property of this essential vitamin. Apart from getting rid of the excess free radicals from the body, it also helps in regulating the production of sebum (R) from the glands.
The controlled production of sebum ensures controlled secretion of oil on the face (R) which is one of the primary reasons behind the production of acne. Thus, if you are someone who suffers from excess levels on your face, this is definitely the way to go for. It is what prevents the sudden breakouts on your face, thus curing the acne in the meanwhile.
12. Benefits of Vitamin for Black Heads
Blackheads are primarily the result of the excess secretion of oil production on the face which is what ends up clogging the pores on the face and results in the formation of blackheads all over the face, especially around the nose and the chin.
The application of Vitamin A (R) or even the consumption of it aids in the regulation of the production of sebum on the face which lessens the oiliness on the face that prevents the unnecessary clogging of the pores that, in turn, reduces the overall appearance of the blackheads on the face.
13. Benefits of Vitamin A for Burns
Burns in and on the skin vehemently affects the tissues and cells in the area that it has affected. The Vitamin A has beneficial tissue repair and cell regeneration properties which help in healing the wound effectively to promote a better cure for it.
Several studies (R) (R) have effectively concluded the fact that the application and even consumption of Vitamin A aids with the faster recovery of the wounds in comparison to the other forms of Vitamins in question.
14. Benefits of Vitamin A for Dark Circles
Vitamin A in your diet can actually help in a number of ways, getting rid of dark circles being one of the major ones with respect to skin health. How? The antioxidant properties of the Vitamin A (R) helps in fighting off all the excess free radicals in the body which is often times the primary reason behind the tiredness and bagginess under the eyes.
The Vitamin A in the body rejuvenates the cells and makes them look healthier which is one of the primary reasons how the enhancement of Vitamin A in the diet can actually contribute to dealing with the puffiness around the eyes and get rid of the dark circles and make them appear healthy and fresh.
15. Benefits of Vitamin A for Dry Skin
Vitamin A might not feel like very beneficial vitamins on the outside but the deficiency of it is what reflects on the skin health, making it appear dry and dull. The amazing collagen developing properties help in boosting the healthy repair of the skin and tissues for a healthier one.
While there are not many studies to back the claims up, it has been seen time and time that the lack of Vitamin A in the blood because of its lack in the diet often ends up contributing to dryness and dullness on the skin. Even the antioxidant properties contribute to the process of skin rejuvenation thus making sure that the skin isn’t appearing dry and scaly.
16. Benefits of Vitamin A for Eczema
Eczema is one of the most common and adverse skin conditions that leave the skin dry and scaly and impose irritation and excessive itching as well. A study has shown that the Vitamin A, especially the retinoids have the beneficial therapeutic contribution (R) to the conditions of eczema and a number of other skin related problems like psoriasis.
It is also the anti-inflammatory properties of the Vitamin A which help heal the problem before the situation gets worse even further.
17. Benefits of Vitamin A for Slowing Aging Process
While you might not actually believe, the topical application of retinol (R) actually does aid in improving the appearance of the fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Not just that, it also aids in collagen production which is an added bonus in slowing down the aging process in individuals.
Apart from that, even the antioxidant properties of the Vitamin A (R) aids in decreasing the levels of free radicals in the body, thereby contributing to slowing down the aging process in an individual.
18. Benefits of Vitamin A for Measles
Measles is a viral infection which primarily affects infants and is characterized by the appearance of red spots all over the body. It can easily be prevented by the administration of vaccination which is very important for the infants as the disease often times ends up degrading the immune system of the children.
As the small children and infants are more prone to have lower levels of Vitamin A in their body, it is what can cause the disease of Measles in the kids. The antioxidant (R), as well as the anti-inflammatory (R) of the Vitamin A, is what helps in boosting the overall immunity of the affected which helps combat the infection and cure it from within.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Hair
Much like the amazing array of benefits of Vitamin A for one’s overall well being as well as the skin, the realm of benefits extends to the hair as well. In this section, we are going to walk ourselves through the common vitamin A benefits for hair that not many people are aware of.
19. Benefits of Vitamin A for Hair Loss and Hair Growth
While Biotin and the presence of Vitamin D are often considered as the two most important components concerning the subject of hair re-growth, Vitamin A plays a very beneficial role in the process of inducing hair growth in an individual. The deficiency of Vitamin A in the body and diet often tends to result in hair loss which is why it is necessary to maintain the optimal levels of Vitamin A in the body for healthy hair growth.
The prospect of antioxidant properties is what contributes to boosting the hair growth in an individual. The antioxidant protection not just promotes better hair growth but also helps in the protection of the scalp as well.
Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms
While the excess of Vitamin A in the body often ends up inflicting negative impacts on the body, even the deficiency of it has some negative impacts on the body that one needs to be aware of.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of deficiency of Vitamin A in the body include:
- Dry Skin: This is possibly one of the most common symptoms because of the fact that the lack of Vitamin A in the body ends up reflecting on the skin, making it rough, dry and very scaly. Vitamin A is associated with inflicting positive impacts in skin repair and healing which is why the lack of Vitamin A (R) in the body often ends up causing skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
- Dry Eyes: Vitamin A is one of the most common vitamins that are related to vision and betterment of it. The vivid dryness of the eyes or its incapability of producing tears is one of the most common symptoms of deficiency of Vitamin A in the body. The lack of Vitamin A in the body ends up causing drying corneas which, if persistent, can even cause blindness.
- Infertility: As Vitamin A is associated with development and growth, the same extends to the realm of fertility as well. If you have been consistently experiencing problem conceiving, there are chances that there is a problem with the levels of Vitamin A in your body. Even a study (R) which was conducted to determine the various levels of nutrients in someone struggling with infertility, it was found that they had very low levels of Vitamin A in their body.
- Night Blindness: This is possibly the most common symptoms of deficiency of Vitamin A. This is the first problem that majority of the people correlate to when someone mentions the deficiency of Vitamin A. If you are starting to experience night blindness, it is possibly because of the deficiency of Vitamin A in your body.
- Delayed Growth: This is one of those symptoms that are promptly witnessed in children who have a lack of Vitamin A in their body. Vitamin A has a quintessential necessity in the process of growth and development which is why the deficiency of it in the body results in delayed or stunted growth in a child.
- Delayed Healing of Wound: One of the major benefits of Vitamin A is the fact that it promotes the production of collagen in an individual. If you are witnessing that your wounds aren’t healing properly and taking quite an extended period of time to completely heal, there are chances that your body doesn’t have the necessary levels of Vitamin A that it should.
- Chest Infections: Although not a very common or conclusive symptom, even the persistent recurrence of chest or throat infections are a possible symptom of your body being devoid of the necessary amount of Vitamin A levels. Conclusive studies (R) have shown that the vitamin supplementation effectively gets rid of the chest and throat infections which are more than enough to understand the importance of this underappreciated vitamin.
Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin A
Much like all the amazing Vitamin A benefits that we have walked ourselves through, there are also some downsides to the excess consumption of this specific Vitamin. In this section of the article, we are going to walk ourselves through the common side effects of the excess consumption of Vitamin A.
Excess of Vitamin A, otherwise also known as Hypervitaminosis A can lead to toxicity which is primarily caused in people who depend a lot on the Vitamin A supplements for an extended period of time.
Some of the common side effects include:
- Toxicity in the body
- Swelling in the bones
- Dry, rough and scaly skin
- Mouth Ulcers
- Confusion and cognitive impairment at times
- Bulging soft spot on the head (seen in children)
- Nausea and dizziness
- Severe headache
- Convulsions in serious overdose
- Increase sensitivity to sunlight
- Loss of appetite
The benefits of Vitamin A in the body are very crucial and pronounced. While many of us don’t really appreciate the presence of this Vitamin on its own, it is when the symptoms of deficiency appear that people understand the actual importance of this specific Vitamin. These above mentioned retinol benefits are more or less all the Vitamin A benefits that one needs to be aware of. Hope this helped!