Vitamin A: What's it Good For?

Carrots by Gabriel Gurrola

 

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin needed for growth and development, cell recognition, vision, immune response, and reproduction. It plays many roles in your body’s proper function, as we’ll find out below.

Immune Support

Vitamin A plays an important role in white blood cell and mucosal generation, which means that without sufficient levels of it your immune system is already behind on its immune response to new illnesses. White blood cells are the soldiers your body uses to fight off infection, and it’s important to take vitamin A and fill the ranks.

Your mucous membranes, meanwhile, are the sticky moats that trap invaders and keep them out of your body. Without fully-formed mucous membranes, viruses, bacteria and toxic compounds will have an easier time infecting you. Tip: Drinking water is just as important as taking vitamin A for your mucous membranes, so make sure to stay hydrated!

Clear Eyesight

Have you ever wondered why carrots are so good for your eyesight? You guessed it: Vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene! These fat-soluble compounds are critical in the process that converts the light you see into an electrical signal that your brain can understand. One of the most visible symptoms of clinical vitamin A deficiency is night-blindness, and even slightly lower levels of vitamin A can affect how you see the world.

Healthy Skin

Vitamin A assists in promoting and maintaining a healthy dermis and epidermis, the top two layers of your skin. It helps your body with natural moistening of the skin, giving it a radiant glow with no additional product necessary. 

Though the exact mechanism is still under investigation, vitamin A has also been shown to reduce acne, and several vitamin A-based acne medications are already on the market.

Supplementing with Vitamin A

The recommended daily amount of vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women. Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, it is stored in your body and it is possible to consume toxic amounts (as opposed to water-soluble vitamin C, where excess amounts leave your body in urine), so it is important to find a good supplement, use it consistently and follow the directions on the bottle.

People with vitamin A deficiency may experience inflammation or infection  with eyes, ears, mouth, sinuses, lungs, or urinary tract. Get on top of your vitamin A game with an option that also includes vitamins D and K--this powerhouse trio supports each others’ activity and leads to a healthier, happier life!

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