Vitamin A has the distinction of being the
first fat-soluble vitamin to be recognized. Today, after almost a
century of research, Vitamin A and its plant-derived cousin,
beta-carotene, are still very much a focus of research. Vitamin A is
one of the most versatile vitamins, with roles in such diverse
functions as vision, immune defenses, maintenance of body linings and
skin, bone and body growth, normal cell development, and reproduction.
In addition to being crucial for eye health,
Vitamin A is needed by all epithelial
tissue; that is the tissue which has an external surface, and an
internal lining; such as the nose, eyes, mouth, genitalia, and so on.
The skin and all of the protective linings of these areas serve as
barriers to infection by bacteria and to damage from other sources.
Vitamin A works at the genetic level to promote the process of cell
differentiation, which allows each type of cell to mature so that it
is capable of performing a particular function to help bar infections
from taking hold. Another emerging area of research concerns the roles
of Vitamin A in the regulation of the genes that produce proteins
involved in immunity. Without sufficient Vitamin A, these complex
genetic interactions produce an altered response to infection that
weakens the body's defenses against disease.
Vitamin A also assists in bone growth.
Normal children's bones grow longer, and the children grow taller, by
remodeling each old bone into a new bigger version. To do so, the body
dismantles the old bone structures and replaces them with new, larger
bone parts. Growth cannot take place just by adding on to the original
Vitamin A is needed in the crucial
dismantling steps. In some children, failure to grow is one of the
first signs of Vitamin A deficiency
Recommended Dietary Allowances: Men =
5000 IU (or 3 mg beta carotene); Women = 4000 IU (or 2.4 mg beta carotene)
- Necessary for growth & repair of body tissues
- helps maintain smooth, soft disease-free skin
- helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose
, throat & lungs, thereby reducing susceptibility to infections
- protects against air pollutants
- counteracts night-blindness & weak eyesight
- aids in bone and teeth formation.
- Current medical research shows that foods rich in
Beta Carotene will help reduce the risk of lung cancer & certain oral
- Unlike Vitamin A from fish liver oil, Beta Carotene
- May result in night blindness
- increased susceptibility to infections
- rough, dry, scaly skin
- loss of smell & appetite; frequents fatigue
- lack of tearing
- defective teeth & gums' retarded growth
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Vitamine B complex