Vitamin A Acetate
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.
Supporting research & information
There are two different types of vitamin A. The first type, preformed vitamin A, is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The second type, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin A in foods and dietary supplements is beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene, like all carotenoids, is an antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules; it protects the body from free radicals. Free radicals damage cells through oxidation. Eventually, the damage caused by free radicals can cause several chronic illnesses.
Several studies have shown that antioxidants through diet help people's immune systems, protect against free radicals, and lower the risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Some studies have suggested that those who consume at least four daily servings of beta-carotene rich fruits and/or vegetables have a lower risk of developing cancer or heart disease.
Vitamin A Benefits:
People who eat a lot of foods containing beta-carotene might have a lower risk of certain kinds of cancer, such as lung cancer or prostate cancer. But studies to date have not shown that vitamin A or beta-carotene supplements can help prevent cancer or lower the chances of dying from this disease. In fact, studies show that smokers who take high doses of beta-carotene supplements have an increased risk of lung cancer.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or the loss of central vision as people age, is one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people. Among people with AMD who are at high risk of developing advanced AMD, a supplement containing antioxidants, zinc, and copper with or without beta-carotene has shown promise for slowing down the rate of vision loss.
When children with vitamin A deficiency (which is rare in North America) get measles, the disease tends to be more severe. In these children, taking supplements with high doses of vitamin A can shorten the fever and diarrhea caused by measles. These supplements can also lower the risk of death in children with measles who live in developing countries where vitamin A deficiency is common.
Doubling as both an important fat-soluble vitamin and potent antioxidant, getting enough vitamin A is absolutely crucial to maintaining overall health. Not only does it play a role in keeping your skin healthy and clear, but it’s also a key factor in disease prevention, immunity and even bone health.
A deficiency in this vital vitamin can cause some pretty scary consequences, ranging from night blindness to scaly skin and stunted growth. However, striking the right balance is equally important, as overdoing it with supplements can also result in serious issues like birth defects and liver problems.
So what does vitamin A do, and how can you be sure you’re getting the right amount in your diet? Here’s what you need to know about this essential micronutrient and how it can impact your health, along with the top vitamin A foods you should consume.
What Is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. It plays a critical role in maintaining vision, neurological function, healthy skin and more. Like all antioxidants, it’s also involved in reducing inflammation through fighting free radical damage.
Vitamin A is found in two primary forms: active vitamin A (also called retinol, which results in retinyl esters) and beta-carotene. Retinol comes from animal-derived foods and is a type of “pre-formed” vitamin A that can be used directly by the body. The other type, which is obtained from colorful fruits and vegetables, is in the form of provitamin carotenoids. Beta-carotene and other types of carotenoids found in plant-based products need to first be converted to retinol, the active form of vitamin A, in order to be utilized by the body. Another form of vitamin A is palmitate, which usually comes in capsule form.
So what is vitamin A good for? Studies have repeatedly shown that antioxidants like vitamin A are vital to good health and longevity. They benefit eye health, boost immunity and foster cell growth. Nutrition experts and physicians recommend obtaining antioxidants primarily by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole foods whenever possible rather than from vitamin supplementation to maximize the potential health benefits.
Vitamin A Benefits
- Protects Eye Health
- Supports Immunity
- Relieves Inflammation
- Keeps Skin Glowing
- Contains Cancer-Fighting Properties
- Boosts Bone Health
- Reduces Cholesterol
- Aids in Reproduction and Development
- Promotes Tissue Repair
- Prevents Urinary Stones
Vitamn A Contraindications:
Getting too much preformed vitamin A (usually from supplements or certain medicines) can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, coma, and even death. High intakes of preformed vitamin A in pregnant women can also cause birth defects in their babies. Women who might be pregnant should not take high doses of vitamin A supplements.
Consuming high amounts of beta-carotene or other forms of provitamin A can turn the skin yellow-orange, but this condition is harmless. High intakes of beta-carotene do not cause birth defects or the other more serious effects caused by getting too much preformed vitamin A.