Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be discovered by human. In the ancient Greece, people realized that by eating the animal livers, their eyesight improves dramatically. What they didn't know was it's not the liver that give them ability to heal the eyesight problems, the secret element is Vitamin A which is sufficiently contained in the animal livers. Now days, we know Vitamin A can do much more than just improving our eyesight. For instance, we now know Vitamin A may help to prevent many skin diseases, even acne. Click here to read the article on Acne and Vitamins.
Vitamin A Supplement Facts
When Vitamin A was first discovered, it was called the "anti-infective element." It helped lab animals from getting eye infections. Vitamin A helps you put up strong front-line barriers to infection in order to fend off infections and illnesses. Without enough Vitamin A, germs can easily pass through your outer defense system, and into your body. Vitamin A also helps your immune system to fight against the germs once they get into your body. Therefore, it is a "double barrelled protection agent" of your body.
Vitamin A is also essential for healthy eyesight, as human have discovered centuries ago. Children and teens need plenty of Vitamin A to help them grow properly and build strong bones and teeth. Even after you’re fully grown, Vitamin A can help your body to constantly replace old, worn-out body cells with new ones and keep your bones and teeth strong as always. Because over-dosing on Vitamin A can be toxic, therefore, scientists today are studying Retinol and Carotene more closely rather than concentrating on pure Vitamin A supplements.
Vitamin A, Beta Carotene
It is known that excess amount of vitamin A could be very harmful to your health. Therefore, we do not recommend people directly intake vitamin A supplements. Instead, one should take some extra Carotene supplements since they may keep you away from the vitamin A deficiency and also help you to fight free radicals. Alpha Carotene and Beta Carotenes are the most effective supplements helping cancer patients to fight against the fatal disease.
Among the many different kinds of carotene supplements, we suggest the Carotenoid Complex supplement which contains Vitamin A as Beta-Carotene 25,000IU from Country Life. This supplement contains additional antioxidant carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin, and natural alpha-carotene.
There are many health benefits of Vitamin A, many of which we've already mentioned above. The following is a list of Vitamin A benefits:
Helps body external and internal defense systems to fight against harmful infections.
Helps you to form and maintain healthy looking skin, hair, and mucous membranes.
Helps you to prevent (or fight against) many eyesight related problems such as night blindness and formation of visual purple in the eye.
Helps in bone growth, teeth development.
Vitamin A Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
The latest recommendations for vitamin A are given in the Dietary Reference Intakes developed by the Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) is the umbrella term for a group of reference values used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people.
One of those references values, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), is the average daily dietary intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in each age and gender group.
RDA for vitamin A are listed as Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE) to account for the different activities of retinol and provitamin A carotenoids. In the listings below, RDAs are also listed in International Units (IU) because food and some supplement labels list vitamin A content in International Units (1 RAE in micrograms (ug) = 3.3 IU).
Adults 19 years and older: 700 mcg/day (female) 900 mcg/day (male)
Pregnancy 18 years and younger: 750 mcg/day
Pregnancy 19-years and older: 770 mcg/day
Breastfeeding 18 years and younger: 1,200 mcg/day
Breastfeeding 19-years and older: 1,300 mcg/day
Results of two national surveys, the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III 1988-91) and the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII 1994) suggested that the dietary intake of some Americans does not meet recommended levels for vitamin A. These surveys highlight the importance of encouraging all Americans to include dietary sources of vitamin A in their daily diets.
There is no RDA for beta-carotene or other provitamin A carotenoids. The Institute of Medicine report suggests that consuming 3 to 6 mg of beta-carotene daily will maintain plasma beta-carotene blood levels in the range associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases. A diet that provides five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day and includes some dark green and leafy vegetables and deep yellow or orange fruits should provide recommended amounts of beta-carotene.