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Vitamin A Benefits | Powerful Antioxidant | Cancer, Skin, Reproductive System, Bones & More.

Author C. Sanders. Published on June 3, 2011 - 10:19 pm (2599 views — 547 words)

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that occurs only in animal foods.

However, carotenoids serve as a great source of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-carotene that our bodies convert into vitamin A and can be found in many vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin A is a vitamin that is required by the retina (in the eye) in the form of a specific metabolite: the molecule retinal. It is absolutely neccessary for low light (scotopic vision) and color vision as well. It also functions as an irreversibly oxidized form of retinol (retinoic acid) which is a vital growth factor for epithelial cells, as well as others.

Reproductive System
Vitamin A is known to be essential in regard to both the male and female reproductive systems, and process.

Skin
Vitamin A contains many antioxidant properties that combat free radicals. These free radicals can damage the skin through what is known as oxidative stress. In keeping proper levels of Vitamin A in the body, the skin is not only protected from dryness, but also keratinization, psoriasis, acne, and even wrinkling.

-Keratinization is the process in which the epidermis hardens into the heavy material that makes up hair and nails.

-Psoriasis is a common skin disorder characterized by flare-ups in which red papules covered with silvery scales occur on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, or buttocks.

Cancer
Vitamin A, being a very potent antioxidant, fights against oxidative stress (cellular rust, rather) within our bodies, and in doing so, it protects us from health issues such as cataracts, atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and even cancer.

Kidney Stones
Urinary calculi, which are solid particles in the urinary system that cause severe pain, nausea and vomiting when formed, can be prevented with a proper level of Vitamin A in your system.

Vitamin A produces a mineral compound called calcium phosphate. We've often heard that a calcium buildup is often what causes these stones, but this produces by the A vitamin is a different form of that calcium. Calcium phosphate prevents the formation of these solid particles in the urinary system.

Bones and Teeth
When Vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid, it helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Dentin is the hard layer on the inside of the tooth (below the enamel) and is relies on Vitamin A to maintain its strength.

Vitamin A also plays an important role in replacing old tissue with new tissue.

Immunity
Not only does Vitamin A guard all entry points into the human body, such as mucous membranes, lining of the eyes, respiratory, urinary and other intestinal tracts, it is also essential for lymphocyes (white blood cells) that fight infection once entered in the body.

Overdose
Excessive Vitamin A use during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects. Vitamin A overdose can cause symptoms such as orange skin, blurred vision and nausea. Vitamin A toxicity can cause more severe symptoms such as growth retardation, hair loss and enlarged spleen and liver and even death. This type of overdose usually occurs through consumption of large amounts of Vitamin A supplements.

Retinol and beta carotene both belong to the Vitamin A family. The body automatically removes excess beta carotene so it is impossible to overdose on this type of Vitamin A.