Vitamin A is important for healthy vision and a strong immune system. Found in most animal products or colorful vegetables.
Our Vitamin A is based on the shape of the actual molecule!
All About Vitamin A (Retinol)
Vitamin A Facts:
Not surprisingly, Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be discovered. In 1907 Dr. Elmer McCollum found that blindness in rats could be cured by a food chemical he named “A-factor”. The biggest role for A is helping your vision so it’s sometimes called the sight vitamin. The pigments in your eyes need A to see colors. It’s also important for making red blood cells and for healthy skin and the immune system. Carrots are orange and good for your eye health due to beta carotene, which our bodies use to make A. Carrots, though, do not hold super veggie powers that improve night vision. This myth was popularized during WWII when Britain tried to fool the Germans into thinking it was carrots that made their fighter pilots so successful at night, and not the use of radar technology.
There are two kinds of vitamins: water soluble (B and C) and fat soluble (A, D, E, K). Water soluble vitamins move in your bloodstream, are easily absorbed into your cells, and are excreted in urine. So we need to eat food with lots of B and C. Fat soluble vitamins like A need dietary fat to be absorbed and transported in the body. They are stored in body fat and in the liver. So A and the other fat soluble vitamins stay in our bodies a long time. We use A slowly, so we don’t need as much of it as B and C. The daily needs for A are in micrograms (mcg), or a millionth of a gram. Thus, if you meet the daily intake of 900 mcg you are eating about one grain of sand of vitamin A.
|DESCRIPTION||Scientific Name: Retinol
Benefits: Vision, immune system
Daily Needs (Adult): 700 - 900mcg
Daily Needs (Child): 300 - 600mcg
Too Much: Dry skin, liver toxicity, hair loss, fatigue
Too Little: Infections, night blindness, poor wound healing
Causes of Deficiency: Antibiotics, diabetes, malnutrition
Food Sources: carrots, liver, chili peppers, apricots, kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, mangoes