The Importance of Vitamin A in Your Diet
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions.
While it is ideal to obtain vitamin A through food sources, this is not always feasible. Taking supplements is a fantastic approach to guarantee that you are receiving adequate amounts of vitamin A.
Good sources of Vitamin A include:
- Oily fish
- Fortified low-fat spreads
- Milk & yogurt
- Liver & liver products like liver pate
Benefits of Vitamin A include:
The immune system
Vitamin A is essential for immune function and may be particularly helpful in fighting off illnesses and infections. A lack of vitamin A can impair immunity and even change how immune cells function. It has been shown that a vitamin A deficiency prevents the mucosal barriers from regenerating. This increases the chances of getting infections.
One of vitamin A's most well-known advantages is its capacity to improve vision and maintain eye health. The reason for this is because it is an important part of the rhodopsin molecule. When light hits the retina, it activates this molecule and sends a signal to the brain that helps us see.
Beta-carotene is a source of Vitamin A and is an important natural antioxidant. It helps to minimize the body's build-up of damaging free radicals. It also shield cells from oxidative damage, and reduces inflammation.
Vitamin A helps in maintaining the health of your skin. It also helps keep the lining of certain parts of your body, like your nose, healthy.
Vitamin A deficiency
Deficiency in vitamin A is rare in Ireland but can lead to:
- Vision impairment
- Birth defects
- Liver & bone damage
- Weak Bone (Osteoporosis)
Vitamin A can also be toxic when people consume too much. If you take supplements that contain vitamin A, make sure your daily intake does not exceed the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). This is 700 mcg per day for men and 600 mcg per day for women. If you eat liver every week, do not take vitamin A supplements.
Pregnancy and Vitamin A
A large intake of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. If you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, do not eat liver or liver products, such as pâté. These are rich in vitamin A. You should also avoid taking supplements that contain vitamin A.