What is vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for humans. Actually, the generic term vitamin A refers to a group of compounds such as retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. These act in a similar way in the body.
How is vitamin A absorbed by the body?
Ideally, vitamin A and its precursors are absorbed with food. Vitamin A is found only in animal foods, such as milk, cheese, fish and liver. There are also provitamins, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Beta-carotene is considered to be better absorbed by the body. Provitamins A are found in plants such as carrots and green vegetables.
Vitamin A and its precursors are absorbed into the body from food in the small intestine. The precursors of the vitamin are converted in the body and are then available as active vitamin A. This process is closely related to fat metabolism. Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body can store it. For the most part, this occurs in the liver.
What is vitamin A needed for?
Vitamin A has a number of functions in the body. For example, it plays an important role in iron metabolism and in the formation of red blood cells.
Many people know that vitamin A is also important for vision. But it is also necessary for reproduction. It is needed for testosterone and sperm production as well as for the development of the embryo.
It also regulates the growth of cells and helps the immune system. It supports the mucous membranes and is thought to help keep them healthy. Healthy mucous membranes are an effective barrier against viruses, parasites and bacteria. These are less able to enter the body easily and thus burden the immune system.
Vitamin A is often included in skin care products as well. This is for good reason. It supports the structure and regeneration of the skin. More specifically, it is retinol, which is converted to retinoic acid in the skin. It is said to maintain the elasticity of the skin.
Vitamin A in a vegan diet
Those who eat a vegan diet and have decided not to consume animal products also do not supply their bodies with vitamin A through their food. With an optimal nutrition with the correct food a supply with sufficient Provitaminen A should be possible in principle also. These are contained, as already described, in green vegetables and in carrots. Incidentally, the intake of provitamin A when eating carrots is higher when the carrots are grated than when they are eaten raw whole.
If you are unsure whether you are taking enough vitamin A, you can also ask your doctor to clarify the situation. The doctor can examine the body to determine whether the vitamin A content is high enough.
Ingestion of vitamin A
Very often vitamin A is taken in with food. Those who do not consume the required amount of the vitamin through food can also take vitamin A as a substitute through dietary supplements. Take a look around the store at your leisure and browse the category. Vitamin A contain, for example, the Vitality Shot or Neovital.