Vitamin 101: vitamin A

Vitamins are required by our body from our diet because the body cannot actually make them. Vitamin A is great for maintaining (and possibly bettering) vision, a healthy immune system, protection from free radicals, and the regulation of our cell growth and development including the maintenance of bones and soft tissue.

There are actually two types:

  • The active form: retinoids (sourced from animal products such as, eggs, whole milk, liver, fish oils, skim milk and fortified cereals)
  • Antioxidant: Beta-carotine (sourced from orange and green plants including: sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, broccoli, apricots, cantaloupe)

It’s important to note though, there is such a thing as too much vitamin A. Vitamin A actually stores in our fat cells when it is consumed in excess rather than being excreted from our system. When it builds up it actually becomes toxic and can cause side effect such as, dry skin, joint pain, vomiting and headaches or, even birth-defects if pregnant. So don’t take supplements unless prescribed to by a health professional.

Keep a healthy and balanced diet with all things in moderation.

 

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/supplement-guide-vitamin-a#2

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-A#introduction

 


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