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VITAMIN A



Information and Facts

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin also known as Retinol, Axerophthol, Biosterol. It is present in supplements as Retinyl Palmitate. Isolated in 1913 by two groups of American workers. Vitamin A is manufactured by extraction from fish-liver oil and by synthesis from beta-ionone.

Vitamin A Chemical Structure

Vitamin A Chemical Structure

FUNCTION

  • helps fight infection
  • helps in the maintenance of good eyesight and is essential for night vision
  • necessary to new cell growth
  • promotes growth and repairs of body tissues, bone formation and healthy skin, hair and mucus membranes
  • form of Antioxidant; crucial importance as they protect the body from toxic substances and are an essential element in Cancer prevention

It is also essential for maintaining

  • bladder
  • good blood
  • kidneys
  • lungs
  • membranes
  • strong bones and teeth

FOOD SOURCES

  • fruit
  • carrots
  • green and yellow vegetables
  • butter
  • cheese
  • cream
  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • fish liver oils, especially halibut and cod
  • lamb
  • liver
  • milk
  • yogurt

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

USED FOR

  • acne
  • skin and body linings
  • eczema
  • eye disorders
  • respiratory disease
  • gastric ulcers
  • preventing the development of cancer
  • psoriasis

INCREASED INTAKE NEEDED

  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding

DESTROYED BY

  • air particularly in the presence of iron and copper
  • high temperature
  • light

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • burning and itching eyes
  • dry scaly skin and scalp
  • general susceptibility to infection
  • headaches
  • inflamed eyelids
  • loss in weight and failure of growth
  • low resistance to infections of the skin, mucous membranes and respiratory tract
  • pain in the eyeballs
  • poor hair quality

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • inflammation of mucous membranes
  • kidney stone formation
  • mild skin complaints
  • night blindness
  • xerophthalmia (disease of the cornea of the eye) causing ulceration and ultimately blindness

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • coarse, thin hair
  • calcium deposits in blood vessels due to rises in the blood enzyme, Phosphotase
  • cracks in corners of mouth and lips
  • drowsiness
  • dry, red, itching skin and mucous membranes
  • enlarged liver
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • hemorrhages
  • increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure
  • inflamed tongue and gums
  • mental irritability
  • loss of hair
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • peeling of skin
  • sleep disturbance
  • swelling of the long bones
  • ulceration of mouth
  • vomiting
  • water retention
  • weight loss

The form 13-cis-retinoic acid used to treat acne has side effects to the mucous membranes of the:

  • mouth
  • nose
  • eyes



Beta Carotene


Alternative sources of Vitamin A are the carotenes. Over 100 carotenes are identified in nature, including alpha, beta and gamma carotene that can give rise to Vitamin A. Cryptoxaqnthin and beta-zeacarotene are also Vitamin A precursors. Beta carotene is the most potent precursor of Vitamin A.

Beta carotenes are potent antioxidants working with other natural protectors to defend the body's cells from harmful free radical damage formed in the body or acquired from environmental sources such as:

  • air pollution
  • cigarette smoke
  • pesticide
  • smoke carcinogens
  • toxic chemicals
  • water pollution

FUNCTION

  • Vitamin A is structurally related to carotene. Carotene is converted into Vitamin A (a safe source of Vitamin A) in the liver, two molecules of Vitamin A are formed from one molecule of beta carotene.

FOOD SOURCES

  • all green and yellow fruits, such as apricots, cantaloupe (rock melon), guavas, mangoes, papayas (pawpaw), peaches
  • asparagus
  • butter
  • cheese
  • chilies
  • cow's milk
  • cream
  • dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, endives, leeks, lettuce, spinach, spring greens, Swiss chard, turnip tops
  • herbs, such as basil, coriander, parsley
  • prunes
  • red peppers
  • tomatoes
  • watercress
  • yellow and orange vegetables, such as butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes

EFFECTIVE WITH

Antioxidants, such as:

  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C

USED FOR

Beta Carotene may help protect against:

  • cataracts
  • certain cancers
  • heart disease
  • lung cancer induced by tobacco smoking

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • it is possible to obtain full dietary requirements of Vitamin A from carotenes

DESTROYED BY

  • high temperatures
  • light
  • oxygen

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • not known

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • not known to cause any disease

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • symptoms of excess are yellowing of the skin which is harmless and reversible

Vitamin A can be purchased from Global Herbal Supplies - Click Here

Return to the Vitamin Information Resource Center


More Vitamin Information:

Beta Carotene || Biotin || Choline & Choline/ Inositol || Folic Acid || Inositol || Multivitamins || Vitamin A || Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) || Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin) || Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) || Vitamin B-3(Niacin) || Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) || Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) || Vitamin B-Complex || Vitamin C/ Bioflavonoids || Vitamin D || Vitamin E || Vitamin K


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