Vitamin A ( Retinol ) is one of the oil-soluble vitamins that play many health benefits in the body. It helps improve vision, supports the immune system, reproductive system, and healthy bone development. However, like many other vitamins, we cannot make vitamin A. The source of vitamin A is found in foods or medicines alone. Adequate vitamin supplementation is necessary, especially in subjects who are deficient. However, excessive use can be harmful to the body. So the best way is to get vitamins from food, synthetic pills are only needed when there is a deficiency and are not needed for the average person.
1. What is vitamin A-Retinol?
✅ Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin along with vitamins D, E, and K, it acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Like all antioxidants, it has an anti-inflammatory effect through fighting free radicals. Vitamin A is found in two main forms:
- Active vitamin A (also called retinol): Found in animal-based foods and is a pre-vitamin A that can be used directly by the body.
- Beta-carotene (carotenoids provitamin): Found in plants (carrots, sweet potatoes …) and needs to be converted into the active form of Vitamin A (Retinol) to be absorbed by the body.
2. Top 4 vitamin A health benefits
2.1 Vitamin A health benefits: Improve eyesight
✅ One of the most important effects of vitamin A is the ability to increase vision and keep your eyes healthy. Without this vitamin, you may experience dry eyes or a dry gland. Beta-carotene plays a role in preventing macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of age-related blindness. Studies show that people who are at high risk of macular degeneration if they are supplemented with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper will reduce the risk of disease by 25%. Therefore, to protect healthy eyes, you should eat more foods containing vitamin A (dark green vegetables, fruits, tubers, fruits, red, orange). If you are a busy person or have a poor ability to absorb vitamin A from foods, you can supplement this vitamin with safe, reputable functional foods on the market.
2.2 Vitamin A health benefits: Immune system support
✅ Vitamin A plays an integral role in immune health and it is especially beneficial in preventing diseases and infections. This is because vitamin A has an antioxidant effect, which helps reduce the negative effects of free radicals on the immune system. A deficiency of this important vitamin can weaken immunity and even alter the function of immune cells.
2.3 Vitamin A health benefits: Reduce acne
✅ Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. This is due to clogged hair follicles on the skin by dead cells, sebum, or bacteria. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that can prevent free radicals from causing cell damage. Thanks to that, vitamin A can help prevent aging and skin problems effectively. In addition, vitamin A helps inhibit the formation of Androgen hormones in the body – one of the main causes of acne.
✅ Using vitamin A to treat acne can help you quickly improve skin condition, but the effectiveness of this method depends on the source of vitamin A and how you use it. You should only consider taking vitamin A pills if you do not get enough vitamin A from your daily meals. This is because excessive intake of vitamin A can lead to adverse health effects.
2.4 Vitamin A health benefits: Helps develop bones
✅ Along with calcium and vitamin D, vitamin A also plays a role in the healthy development of the skeletal system by controlling the activity of osteoclasts and bone-forming cells in bone turnover. Supplementing vitamins helps strengthen bones. People who are deficient in vitamin A have a higher risk of fractures during trauma. Older women with osteoporosis have lower blood retinol levels than normal. The results also showed that low retinol levels were associated with a decrease in bone mineral density in the femur. At the same time, full of vitamins helps strengthen bones.
3. Food sources contain vitamin A
✅ This is the safest source of vitamin A and betacarotene. There are many food groups of animal and plant origin.
- In animal-derived foods that are high in vitamin A in the form of retinol, the body can use it directly. Because the liver is the store of vitamin A, it has the highest retinol content such as chicken and pig liver. In addition, fat from meat also contains a significant amount of vitamin A. The source of vitamin A-carotenoid is usually from some animal products such as milk, cream, butter, and eggs.
- For plant-based foods, previtaminA – betacarotene is found in yellow/red tubers, dark green vegetables, palm oil, and other cooking oils such as gac, carrot, and chili bell, watermelon….
4. How to use vitamin A-Retinol ?
✅ The amount of daily vitamin intake depends on the age and condition of each person. In people with vitamin deficiency need to see a specialist take the appropriate supplemental dose. For those who do not suffer from vitamin deficiency, vitamin A supplements may be recommended with age-related recommendations:
- From 1 to 3 years: 1000 IU / day
- From 4 to 8 years: 1300 IU / day
- From 9 to 13 years: 2000 IU / day
- Men 14 and older: 3000 IU / day
- Women 14 and older: 2300 IU / day
✅ Limit safe doses of vitamin A supplements:
- Under 3 years: not more than 2000 IU / day
- From 4 to 8 years: no more than 3000 IU / day
- From 9-13 years: no more than 6000 IU / day
- From 14 to 18 years: no more than 9000 IU / day
- From 19 years and older: no more than 10000 IU / day
Excessive vitamin A supplementation will lead to poisoning. Then the body will have the following symptoms :