VITAMIN A: BENEFITS FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Nine useful (and quite uneasy) facts about the most popular antioxidant
The diet mantra reads "Vitamin A is a key element for good vision, healthy immune system, and cell growth". In most cases, it’s very easy to recognize a person who suffers from vitamin A deficiency. The symptoms include dry, flaky, and lifeless skin, dermatitis, rashes, and irritations. Another possible disorder is the so-called night blindness or hemeralopia. In addition, the protective abilities of the body’s mucous membranes decrease, the condition of nails and teeth deteriorates, premature wrinkles appear, and hair falls out. So it’s impossible not to believe that vitamin A is one of the main nutrients that help keep us beautiful.
But there’s some good news. Vitamin A (when used both externally and internally) can treat acne, various skin diseases, and the first signs of aging. It also immensely boosts immunity and helps immune cells fight various types of infections.
How it works. When vitamin A gets into the blood, one part of it is stored in the liver, and the other part is used for the needs of various organs. For example, it helps speed up cell regeneration and eliminate skin rash or small wrinkles.
Here is a short summary for you. There are two types of vitamin A in nature: retinoids that come from animal products and beta-carotene that comes from plants. In 2013, the scientists from the Food and Nutrition Council at the US Institute of medicine found out an interesting fact. Over the past twenty years, the quantity of vitamins in fruits, vegetables, and green leafy salads has reduced almost by half. In other words, one unit of vitamin A now contains only six carotenoid molecules instead of 12. However, this doesn’t mean that the consumption of fruits and vegetables should double. You can eat other products that are rich in vitamin A. They include liver, fatty fish, and dairy products.
The greatest quantities of this antioxidant are contained in red bell peppers, spinach (it is best to consume it during the first half of the day), asparagus, sweet potatoes, light pumpkin pie (it’s heart-healthy), carrots, apples, bananas, mangoes, and apricots.
Which sounds more tempting: a cup of ice cream or 20 cans of canned tuna? Believe it or not, but both of these products contain exactly the same amount of vitamin A (about 20% of the daily dose). However, keep in mind that according to the vitamin A content, 25 ice cream scoops are equal to one baked sweet potato.
“Another useful tip: the effect of the vitamin can be increased if combined with zinc and vitamin E”.
But be careful. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means it is not only easily digested, but also accumulates in the body. An overdose of vitamin A can be bad for your health. Common side effects include joint pain, nausea, and migraines. With age, taking too much vitamin A as a supplement can cause osteoporosis, weaken bone tissues, thus increasing the risk of fracture by seven times!
If you are taking any medications, you must ask your physician if vitamin A supplement would be safe for you. For example, the vitamin can increase the effectiveness of acne medications, but it can be extremely dangerous if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, or bone density.