Vitamin A: All You Need to Know
Vitamin A… Quite a controversy this one! Worshiped for its vision enhancing capabilities and blamed for hip fractures. Oh my… Is there a story here?
There’s a very heated debate out there about Vitamin A and cancer prevention. Scientists believe that this nutrient is efficient in preventing cancer. Research on the other hand suggests quite the opposite. Get this: more cases of cancer among the Vitamin A takers than among the placebo patients. Should I conclude that Vitamin A is linked to cancer?
What else? Hip fractures!
Apparently women who have a large intake of Vitamin A break their hips a lot. This is because overdoses of vitamin A reduce bone density and makes bones more fragile. But whatever the explanation, that’s one hell of a generalization!
They try their best! Don’t blame the poor scientist for all the confusion! They’re doing their job, but they’re not quite there yet. But until they figure this stuff out, we can look at what we know for sure!
More than one type of Vitamin A? You bet!
- Preformed vitamin A: The one you get from animal sources
- Provitamin A carotenoid: The one you get from vegetables and fruit
What is Vitamin A good for?
- Skin (clears skin, repairs tissue, guards against skin cancer)
A rather high dose of Vitamin A is prescribed for acne treatment. And it works quite well!
- Vision (relieves dry-eye disorder and improves the eye’s adjustment to light)
- Immune system
- Heart diseases
What does Vitamin A deficiency look like?
- Night blindness
- Dry cornea
- Dry skin
Vitamin A overdose reactions:
- Nausea, Vomiting, Dizziness, Blurred Vision, Headache
- Orange hands
- Hair loss
- Birth defects
- Liver abnormalities
Vitamin A supplementation should be limited to 5,000 IU (1,000 RE) for men and 2,500 IU (500 RE) for women.
Large doses of the vitamin can be toxic!
Where do I find Vitamin A?
- Egg yolk
- Cheddar cheese
- Fortified milk
- And many other colorful vegetables and fruit