Last Updated on June 12, 2018 by Michael Brockbank
The human body needs a lot of different vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. Vitamin A, also known as retinoid and Beta-carotene, is one of those components that can serve a variety of purposes. It’s also one of those elements that can be used either through ingestion or as a topical agent. It’s also one of those vitamins that is in plentiful supply. So, what does this component do for you in terms of health?
How Vitamin A Helps the Body
Vitamin A contributes to the development of vision as well as a the immune system and growth of cells. It’s often included in topical agents to treat skin conditions including various illnesses that present on the epidermis.
There are some studies that include retinoid and Beta-carotene as a treatment for some of the worst diseases such as HIV infections. However, there is no hard evidence that demonstrates this vitamin can be of help to those suffering from the affliction. On the other hand, it is used to treat certain types of leukemia with varying levels of success. It’s also used to prevent ailments such as cataracts.
Vitamin A is also an antioxidant. This means it helps scrub the cardiovascular system of free radicals that could cause cancer. This doesn’t mean you can cure cancer by consuming vast amounts of this nutriment, but it does greatly reduce your risks to a wide range of these illnesses.
What Are the Best Ways to Get Vitamin A?
There are technically two distinct types of this nutriment: retinoid and Beta-carotene. Retinoids are consumed through meat products while Beta-carotene is consumed through plants. For example, many stews from Progresso can be a great way to get your daily value of vitamin A because of the density of vegetables.
Virtually any liver is rich in retinoids, but is often not the favorite choice of food for a lot of people. However, you can still get this component from eggs, milk and various cheeses. Fish is also a good source of this component as well as many other health benefits that make it an excellent food type.
When it comes to plant-based vitamin A, the options for dining are quite extensive. Oatmeal, dandelion greens, spinach, tomatoes, kale and carrots are only some of the best sources for this component. A salad made with iceberg lettuce, spinach and carrots can be more than enough to ensure you get enough Beta-carotene in your diet. Think of it this way: if it’s green, it’s probably full of vitamin A.
Can You Overdose on Vitamin A?
There are some vitamins that can actually be harmful when consumed in large quantities. Unfortunately, this is one of them. Consuming too much over a short period of time can lead to things such as various liver problems and fractures. Since retinoids and Beta-carotene can be stored in your fat for up to six months, it may be less difficult than you think to consume too much. Vitamin A is one of those components that you do not need to take in mega-quantities.
It may be best to think of vitamin A as the skin and eye protector. Although it does contribute to several other aspects of the human body, most evidence points to treating these two areas specifically. Just try not to overload yourself on this component. This is a fat-soluble vitamin and can be stored in your body for long periods of time. Too much can cause internal complications.