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Vitamin A

Vitamin A occurs in two forms: preformed Vitamin A known as retinol, and provitamin A, also known as beta carotene. Vitamin A is also known as the “vision vitamin” for its role in aiding eyesight. Because it is fat-soluble and stored in the liver, it need not be replenished every day. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones, as well as mucous membranes, such as those in the nose, throat and lungs. It is necessary in the formation of an eye pigment involved in night vision, and is therefore essential for vision in dim light. Vitamin A is needed for proper development of the fetus in the womb.

Deficiency symptoms include severe deficiency that leads to various physical changes in the eye and will eventually lead to blindness. Marginal deficiency will lead to increase susceptibility to respiratory tract infections and skin problems.

Therapeutic uses include certain skin conditions, e.g. acne and psoriasis.

You need Vitamin A if you are:
1. vegetarians
2. diabetics (who can not convert beta carotene into Vitamin A)
3. Those with mal-absorption syndromes, e.g. celiac disease or gastronomy patients.

If you want to take Vitamin A just follow the prescription. Different age bracket needs different dosage of it. Ask the doctor first if you want to take Vitamin A because this vitamin can lead to toxicity if taken too much and can affect your liver too. Though it in very high dosage like for women, it is 7500 mcg and 9,000 mcg for men. For pregnant woman it should not exceed to 3,300 mcg per day for both foods and supplement as directed by health care professionals.

Interactions and contradictions: though both Vitamin A and D are found in the same foods, they act independently. Zinc should also be taken because; deficiency of it can affect both Vitamin A and Zinc or vise versa. If you are using contraceptive, decrease your usage of Vitamin A.

Here are foods rich in Vitamin A:
1. halibut liver oil 900,000 (mcg/100gm)
2. lamb’s liver 19,900 (mcg/100gm)
3. cod liver oil 18,000 (mcg/100gm)
4. butter 985 (mcg/100gm)
5. margarine 800 (mcg/100gm)
6. cheese, cheddar 363 (mcg/100gm)
7. eggs 190 (mcg/100gm)

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