Vitamin-A, also known as retinol, helps your eyes adjust to light changes, and also helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist. Vitamin-A mainly comes from animal foods, but there are some plant-based foods that supply beta-carotene, which your body then converts into Vitamin-A. Vitamin-A also has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body that are known to cause tissue and cellular damage.
Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in.
There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are stored in the fat tissues of the body for as long as six months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and can lead to health problems.
Some take mega-doses of fat-soluble vitamins, which can lead to toxicity. Eating a normal diet of foods rich in fat soluble vitamins won’t cause a problem. You only need small amounts of any vitamin. In the case of vitamin-A, overconsumption has been linked with an increased risk of fractures in post-menopausal women.
It’s recommended that women consume 800 micrograms per day of vitamin-A, and men consume 1000 micrograms of vitamin-A daily. The best sources of vitamin-A include beef liver, egg yolk, cheddar cheese and fortified milk.
The best sources of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin-A in the body include sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, broccoli, apricots, spinach and collard greens.
Vitamin-A deficiency is rare, but it can cause night blindness, eye inflammation, diarrhea and other problems. Overconsumption of vitamin-A can cause nausea, irritability and blurred vision in its mild form. In addition, the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet can turn orange if a person has a high intake of Vitamin-A. Vitamin-A toxicity can cause growth problems, hair loss and enlarged spleen and liver in its most severe cases Vitamin-A overdose can also cause birth defects and has been linked to increased risk of bone fractures in some people.
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