Vitamin A, also known as retinol or antixeroftálmica, is, like the rest of vitamins, essential for the proper functioning of the body as it helps in the formation and proper maintenance of teeth, soft tissue and bone, membranes mucous membranes and skin. The name is given retinol because it produces pigments necessary for the functioning of the retina, hence the point to its importance in maintaining a good view. It also has a large number of very beneficial properties for health, and protect us from solar radiation or to help heal wounds, to name a few. It is, therefore, an essential nutrient for humans. Hence the importance of eating foods rich in vitamin A regularly.
There are two types of vitamin: one that comes from foods of animal origin (retinol) and carotenoids, which are of plant origin. Vitamin A is stored mainly in the liver (90% of total), which can guarantee reservations for several months. Also stored in the retina of the eye.
When the medication must be taken into account several aspects, as it is the safest form of Beta-carotene or the sun destroys it completely. Also keep in mind that canned products lost nearly 30% of total vitamin A and fried foods make disappear this vitamin. Instead, it supported the cooking of food, as it is very stable to heat.
The main health beneficial properties of vitamin A or retinol are:
- Increase of immunity.
- Protection against solar radiation.
- Helps prevent chronic diseases.
- Prevent the occurrence of infections at mucosal sites.
- Helps heal wounds.
- It is an important anti-cancer.
- It is essential for the development of the body.
- Avoid eye problems such as night blindness, xerophthalmia, and glaucoma.
- Prevents atherosclerosis and high cholesterol.
- Used to combat aging skin, maintaining the elasticity and hydration. It also helps to remove age spots.
- Increases the male and female fertility, since it intervenes in the formation of steroids and the synthesis of progesterone.
- It is important for the proper operation and maintenance of bones, cartilage and teeth.
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 5000 IU (or 3 mg of beta-carotene) in men and 4000 IU (or 2.4 mg beta-carotene) for women. Despite its importance, it is important to know that vitamin A is fat soluble, so that, unlike the B vitamins or vitamin C, it is easily removed so it can be an excess in the body, resulting in a number of adverse health effects such as nausea, irritability, anorexia, vomiting, headache, muscle pain and weakness, drowsiness, blurred vision and altered mental states. In addition, a high intake of vitamin A may cause decreased bone mineral mass in chronic patients, the consequences can be even more negative.
Conversely, lack of vitamin A in the body has a number of negative consequences such as skin and hair dry and falls, blurred vision, corneal ulcers, peeling nails, dry inflammation of the membranes and loss of elasticity of the mucous , rapid loss of vitamin C, repeated infections, delayed growth, bone hyperplasia, among others.
For better absorption of vitamin A is important to take vitamin E and C, and protecting it from oxidation, and vitamin B, which helps to store it to preserve it.
As we see, vitamin A is essential, so it is important to eat foods rich in vitamin A. The best way to meet daily needs is leading a balanced and varied diet. These are some of the foods that we find significant amounts of vitamin A:
- Fruit: melon, peach, tangerine, prunes, apricots, apricot.
- Nuts: peanuts, almonds, pistaño …
- Vegetables: carrots, parsley, chard, spinach, endive, squash, tomatoes, peppers.
- Vegetables: beans and soybeans.
- Cereals: Corn, wheat, wheat germ, whole wheat and white.
- Oils: olive, soybean and sunflower.
- Meat, liver, chicken.
- Fish, eel, shellfish, sardines. As a curiosity, commenting that the cod liver oil has a high content of vitamin A
- Various: egg yolk and nori seaweed.