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The effects of vitamin A deficiency on your health

The benefits of vitamin A

Vitamin A, also called retinol, is an essential element to ensure your vision. It can be found in various forms, such as provitamin A or beta-carotene. what is his role What are its nutritional contributions? What to do if there is a shortage? Here are some questions that we will try to be more specific about.

What is vitamin A?

The latter is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. It is found in foods of animal origin. It’s in the form of retinol. It is also possible to take it in the form of carotenoids. In this case we are mainly talking about beta-carotene or provitamin A. These are the precursor forms of vitamin A found in plants. Note, however, that not all ingested beta-carotene is necessarily converted to retinol. In order to maintain normal vitamin activity, it is customary to consider that retinol is 6 times more concentrated than beta-carotene.

What are the functions of vitamin A and beta-carotene?

The first is essential for vision. It plays a role in activating nerve impulses to the optic nerves. This is also useful for growth as it acts on cell differentiation. It also promotes cell renewal. Hence its importance for skin and mucous membranes. Finally, this vitamin contributes to the functioning of the immune system.

The second is best known for its antioxidant effects. It works in synergy with other micronutrients such as vitamins C and E or even selenium. These protect the body from premature aging.

The Nutritional Benefits of Vitamin A

For safety reasons, it was determined that a dose greater than 1000 mcg per day could be toxic when added to the recommended daily dose. Overdose is particularly dangerous for the following people: pregnant women and children under 3 years of age. In addition, these people must absolutely refrain from eating liver, because that is where the vitamin is abundant. Here are some reference numbers:

The child aged 1 to 3 years should not consume more than 400 mcg/day. Arriving at the age of 10 to 12 years, the limit dose is 550 µg/day. The breastfeeding woman should not exceed 950 µg/day

Where can this vitamin be found?

Retinol is mainly found in the following foods: cod liver oil (30000 µg/100 g) or animal liver (1430-10500 µg/100 g). Some products that we regularly consume also contain it in large amounts: butter (800 µg/100 g), eggs (235 µg/100 g) or even cream (390 µg/100 g) and cheese (265-345 µg/ 100 g).

Beta-carotene is mainly found in orange or green plants such as carrots, sweet potatoes (10500 µg/100 g), melon (1060 µg/100 g) or even spinach (4010 µg/100 g).

What to do with vitamin A deficiency?

Retinol must be prescribed for vitamin A deficiency. The aim is to cure the symptoms and limit the complications (in the case of measles).

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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Dietary intake beta-carotene vitamin A deficiency retinol vitamin A

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