What do you know about vitamin A? Do you know vitamin A health benefits? What about the risks associated with taking it? So, find all this information in the next article.
Vitamin A is essential for the growth and development, but what are the health benefits and harms of taking vitamin A? Get to know it now.
Summary of Vitamin A
Forms and types of vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble vitamins that is stayed in the body. (3)
Vitamin A is present in different types, which are as follows:
Formed vitamin A
It is present in animal products, such as dairy products, poultry, fish, and meat.
It is present in plant foods, like fruits and vegetables.
Beta-carotene is one of the most popular types of vitamin A.
Vitamin A health benefits
As mentioned previously, vitamin A is of great importance in the human body, and thus its low levels may cause the following:
Infections, especially in the stomach, throat, and breast
Delayed growth in children.
On the other hand, eating the necessary amounts of vitamin A includes the following health benefits:
1. Reduces the risk of cancer
Also, different scientific studies show that vitamin A may reduce the risk of developing prostate and colon cancer. (15)
2. Treats diabetes
Some scientific studies indicated that this matter would help treat type 2 diabetes.
3. Vitamin A health benefits for skin and hair
Vitamin A is necessary for body tissue growth, such as hair and skin.
4. Reduces postpartum complications
Taking vitamin A by women who suffer from malnutrition during pregnancy and after childbirth may reduce their risk of diarrhea, and they are more likely to die after birth. Vitamin A helps reduce the risk of pregnancy-related death by 40%.
A study published in The Lancet in 2010 included women from Ghana who were malnourished at reproductive age from 15 to 45 years. A group of them took vitamin A supplements, and this evidence does not support the effect of consuming vitamin A supplements to reduce the risk of death for them or their children. (20, 21, 22, 23)
5. Reduces the complications of measles
Taking vitamin A helps reduce the complications associated with measles and the mortality rate in children with measles and vitamin A deficiency.
ِChildren who are deficient in this vitamin often have an increased infection severity because it is essential for the formation and growth of red blood cells, lymphocytes, and antibodies, due to its proven ability to reduce the risk of developing measles-associated pneumonia. (24, 25, 26, 27)
Vitamin A supplementation is one of the means that increases the speed of healing, reduces the severity of the disease, and has an effect that reduces the risk of lower respiratory infection. (28, 29)
6. Removes white plaque in the mouth (Leukoplakia)
7. Reduces the risk of breast cancer
Consuming high amounts of vitamin A from its natural sources helps reduce the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women who have a family history of breast cancer. But it is not known if consuming vitamin A supplements has the same effect.
A systematic review and statistical analysis from Zhengzhou University in 2018 of 10 studies involving 19,450 breast cancer cases indicated few results about taking the beta-carotene dietary supplement before developing this disease and reducing the risk of breast cancer and there is no relationship between taking other derivatives of vitamin A and reduce the risk of developing it. (32, 33, 34, 35)
8. Vitamin A health benefits for eyes
Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes, as getting adequate amounts of it prevents the risk of age-related macular degeneration. (7)
9. Vitamin A health benefits for pregnant women
Vitamin A is one of the essential nutrients during pregnancy. It is necessary for the body functions and the growth of several fetus organs, like the central nervous system, respiratory system, kidneys, bones, eyes, and heart. (36, 37, 38, 39)