Golden Ruler's of Penmai
- Sep 3, 2012
Vitamin A, that comes from the plants, is termed as Beta-carotene and is a powerful antioxidant. It keeps body immune from infections and is very necessary for skin, eyes and hair.
Vitamin A comes from two different sources – vegetable source and animal source.
Provitamin A is found in vegetables and fruits and is known as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is always non-toxic in foods. It functions as an antioxidant and can be converted to the other forms of vitamin A. It neutralizes free radicals to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. It is abundant in yellow and orange vegetables and fruits.
The other dietary source of vitamin A is found mainly in animal livers. Vitamin A from the animal products and supplements has the potential to be toxic.
Forms of Vitamin A
Inside the body, vitamin A is found in five forms:
1. Beta-carotene – Antioxidant
2. Retinol -- Healthy skin
3. Retinal – Vision
4. Retinoic Acid – Supports skin
5. Retinyl Palmitate – Storage form inside human liver
In the list of above mentioned forms of vitamin A, the first one is obtained from plants and all the rest are obtained from animal foods.
Vitamin A Reduces the Risk of Infection
Vitamin A reduces the risk of infection in the following manner:
1. Strengthens mucous membranes
2. Increases mucous secretions
3. Keeps skin flexible
4. Develops lymphocytes (white blood cells)
5. Improves immune system
Vitamin A Keeps Skin Radiant and Soft
When there is deficiency of vitamin A in the body, the skin and scalp becomes dry, rough and scaly. This hardening and drying is related to increase of 'Keratin', a hard and inflexible protein found in fingernails. Hair follicles can become blocked with plugs of keratin and the result is hair fall.
Vitamin A stores in the body can be depleted by infection. So boost your intake during colds, flu and other viral or bacterial conditions. The body needs zinc to utilize stored vitamin A in the body.
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin A
1. Poor vision
2. Mouth ulcers
3. Frequent infections
4. Dandruff and acne
5. Dry eyes
6. Dry skin
7. Dry hair and scalp
RDA for Vitamin A
Required daily allowance for vitamin A is 2333 IU (700 mcg) in female and 3000 IU (900 mcg) in male.
Note: Women on the contraceptive pill require less vitamin A. Pregnant women should not consume more than 15000 IU vitamin A per day.
Degradation of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is easily lost and reduced by heat, light and oxygen.
Sources of Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)
The main sources of Beta-carotene are mango, papaya, orange, guava, amla, carrot, apple, pumpkin, spinach etc.
Spinach, cooked (1 cup or 180 gm) – 18865 IU (5mg)
Carrots, cooked (1 cup or 78 gm) – 14000 IU (4mg)
Carrot Juice (1 glass) – 10000 IU