How Much Vitamin A Per Day?
Decades of research has shown how significant the role of vitamins is for our body’s growth and development. These tiny compounds, however invisible they may be to the naked eye, literally work as elements that make or break the overall health of our body. The benefits are countless sources innumerable, and the deficiency of vitamins can cause mild to serious health issues that often require medical intervention.
We get all the micronutrients that our body needs from our diet as the body does not manufacture them. The primary sources are food items that we consume on an everyday basis, required in a certain amount or dosage as per the body's requirement. Vitamins can also be consumed in the form of supplements that are available in the market, but the best and healthier way to get your vitamins is to include them in your diet.
Although all vitamin types are equally essential because they perform their respective functions and provide benefits to the body, we are currently concerned with Vitamin A.
To investigate further, let's shed light on this particular vitamin, its sources, benefits, and how much vitamin A do we require per day for our body to function and develop efficiently.
What is Vitamin A?
Just like other vitamins, minerals, and compounds, Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that is required for efficient function and development of the human body. This also means that our body cannot manufacture Vitamin A on its own, along with other micronutrients; therefore, it has to be consumed through our daily diet or supplements.
The process of utilization of Vitamin A takes place in the liver. When we consume Vitamin A in the form of food or supplement, it is stored in the liver until the body requires it. Once that happens, the vitamin is transported in the form of protein to wherever in the body it is needed.
As far as the primary functions of Vitamin A are concerned, it is essential for a variety of bodily functions that include physiological processes, maintaining the function and health of skin tissues, vision, a healthy immune system, the gut, the bladder, growth and development, and reproduction. It is safe to say that Vitamin A plays a pivotal role in assisting the body in performing various developmental functions and makes healthy growth possible.
How Much Vitamin A Per Day?
As for the daily intake of Vitamin A, recommended dietary allowance (RDA) answers the question that usually arises: how much Vitamin A per day? This refers to the amount of Vitamin A that RDA recommends to consume on a daily basis. The consumers include children, teenagers, and adults (including male and female) who need a specific amount of Vitamin A.
As for children and teenagers aged 1-13, the amount recommended by RDA is 300-600 mcg per day. For females aged 14 years and above, a daily recommended intake of 700 mcg is required. For those above the age of 19, 770 mcg/day is the RDA recommended intake of Vitamin A.
As for males that are 14 years and up, 900 mcg per day of Vitamin A is recommended as part of a daily diet.
An amalgam of animal and plant-based sources are sufficient to provide the required amount of Vitamin A to the body in order to help it carry out its functions as efficiently as possible.
Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is packed with a whole lot of benefits for the human body and the necessary functions it carries out on an everyday basis. Some primary beneficial aspects of the vitamin include:
- Vitamin A is good for the eyes and vision
- It helps in keeping the immune system healthy and helps with growth and reproduction as well
- Vitamin A also assists in cell growth and maintains the integrity of surface tissues
- It helps the body fight against infections that are produced as a result of damage to the skin cells
- Due to the presence of the compounds known as retinal, retinol, and retinoic acid, one benefit that is attributed to Vitamin A is its great advantage to the skin and its issues. The presence of antioxidants in Vitamin A ensures collagen production in the skin, which results in minimizing the signs of aging and wrinkles.
- The research on Vitamin A continues to show that its benefits to the skin are countless. It helps in the production of healthy skin cells and is involved in the stimulation of fibroblasts, the cells responsible for keeping the skin firm and healthy.
- Not only is Vitamin a responsible for the anti-aging process and skin cell growth, but it also helps to even the pigmented skin surface and replaces it with an even complexion and a healthy natural glow.
- Some other Vitamin A benefits for the skin include reducing redness, helps to combat different skin infections, fights acne through its anti-inflammatory properties, and protects against the damage caused by the sun.
- Some studies have also shown that Vitamin A helps in treating diseases like HIV, cancers, a specific type of leukemia, measles, and dry eye.
We now know that this vitamin is no less than a magic pill for the body, especially for the skin. To further enlighten ourselves with the benefits of Vitamin A, let’s have a look at the sources that contain this astonishingly healthy micronutrient.
Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A, much like other sources of micronutrients, comes from animal products and plants. It is categorized into two main types that are called Retinoids (that comes from animal sources) and Beta-carotene (that comes from plants).
Nature has blessed us with diverse sources of this fat-soluble vitamin in the form of animal products and plants.
Some animal sources that provide Vitamin A insufficient amount are:
- Beef Liver
- Oily fish
- Cod liver oil
- Lamb's liver
- Goat cheese
- Hard-boiled egg
- Blue cheese
- Feta cheese
In the sources of Vitamin A that come from animals, the main element is retinol, which is basically the star of the show. It is responsible for good skin health and fights skin issues that we mainly face, such as acne, wrinkles, and pigmentation, to name a few.
Since it has been categorized into two main types, the sources of Vitamin A that are plant-based are named as beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, collectively known as provitamin A. Our body is unable to manufacture vitamins, so we get them from animal and plant-based sources as part of our daily diet. The plant sources that contain a generous amount of Vitamin A are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
An interesting fact about Vitamin A is that we can easily recognize the plant-based sources as it gives green, red, or orange color to some vegetables and fruits. It is essential to know that any balanced diet must include both animal and plant-based sources of Vitamin A so that we can get optimum health benefits for the body and all the functions it conducts with the assistance of a daily dose of Vitamin A.
Another source that does not directly come from food but still extracted from the same sources is supplements. Many companies that manufacture vitamins ensure that they provide the consumers with Vitamin A supplements, especially to those who are deficient and are prescribed by their health care provider to consume the supplement.
We are aware of the benefits and sources of Vitamin A, one important question that remains unanswered is how much vitamin A per day should one consume?
Side Effects of Vitamin A Deficiency
When the body gets less Vitamin A than the recommended intake amount, it results in VAD or vitamin A deficiency. The deficiency of Vitamin A can cause severe infection to the body as it supports many systems that work together and sustain the growth and development of various bodily functions.
Some side effects that we may experience as a result of the deficiency of Vitamin include skin infections, pigmentation, aging and wrinkles, and dysfunction in the immune system and eyes.
Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that, along with other vitamins and minerals, is not manufactured in the human body. It is obtained through food and incorporated into our daily diet in the form of animal and plant sources. Apart from that, this vitamin is also provided in the form of supplements.
The vitamin is essential for a number of bodily functions and especially benefits the skin, relieving us of skin issues and disorders.
The deficiency of Vitamin A can cause different disorders that disrupt our bodies. On the contrary, the toxicity of Vitamin A could also lead to detrimental effects on health, such as dry skin, headaches, joint pain, vomiting, and liver problems.
Therefore, it is advisable to consume Vitamin A as per the recommendation of RDA in the form of a balanced diet to ensure maximum benefits.