5 Things That You Should Know About Vitamin A

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vitamin A was the first of the thirteen vitamins to be discovered. Its discovery has been credited to McCollum and Davis between 1912 and 1914. The main function of this vitamin is to promote healthy vision but it also does a lot more. In this article I am going to help you learn about this vitamin by discussing five things you should know about vitamin A. 1) IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTHY VISION:- As I mentioned above this vitamin promotes healthy vision. This benefit was first noticed by the ancient Egyptians who used liver (a rich source of this vitamin) as a remedy for night blindness (a condition that makes it difficult or impossible to see in dim light). The reason for this is that night blindness is a symptom of vitamin A deficiency which can develop into full blindness if not treated. 2) IT IS A FAT SOLUBLE VITAMIN:- This vitamin is fat soluble which means that it dissolves in your body's fatty tissues. Fat soluble vitamins are generally more resistant to heat and light meaning that they are relatively stable when cooked. They can also be stored by your body for later use meaning that if you do not consume much vitamin A on a certain day your body can get its daily requirements from these stores. 3) IT CAN BE SOURCED FROM PLANTS AND ANIMALS:- Vitamin A that is sourced from animal products is called retinol whilst the plant source is referred to as carotenoids. Animal sources of this vitamin include liver, butter, eggs cheese and milk. Plant sources include carrots, peas and spinach. 4) IT HAS OTHER BENEFITS TOO:- Although healthy vision is the most well known vitamin A benefit this is not its only function. It is also essential for healthy growth (especially bone growth), the production of sperm cells and keeps your eyes, skin and mucus moist. 5) YOU CAN GET TOO MUCH:- Most people do not realise that you can overdose on vitamins. However, excessive consumption of vitamins can be just as bad as not getting enough. Overdosing on vitamin A generally leads to bone problems with osteoporosis (reduced bone density) and bone fractures both being symptoms associated with this. I hope this article has given you a better understanding of vitamin A and shown you that there is more to it than just promoting healthy vision. Although this is one of its key functions it is also required for healthy growth, reproduction and much more.


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