Vitamin A or Retinol: the health benefits of vitamin A

February 8, 2010

Diets & Nutrition

This soluble vitamin, retinol, is present in foods of animal origin. However, it is also found in plants, in the form of beta-carotene, which is turned by the body into vitamin A (beta-carotene is also called provitamin A). To turn into retinol, beta-carotene needs fat.

Carotene-rich foods (broccoli, carrot, melon, spinach) are indicated for cancer, heart patients, those who suffer from cataract or other diseases of old age. Also, consumption of fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene prevents the development of certain types of cancer: stomach, esophagus, lungs or the female genitalia.

Recommended daily dose of vitamin A: 3 mg…

Vitamin A Sources:

• In the form of retinol, vitamin A is found in pig liver, beef, veal, fish oil, eggs, dairy products;
• Beta-carotene is found in colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, carrot, spinach, asparagus, corn, beetroot leaves, dandelion leaves, watermelon, mangoes, apricots, citrus, pumpkin;
• retinol can oxidize in the presence of air, light and is sensitive to cooking and loses it’s properties

  The health benefits of vitamin A

• Prevents damage to eye sight, it is considered the "eye vitamin";
• enhances growth;
• It helps the immune system resist bone and tissue infections;
• Participates in the metabolism of steroid hormones;
• It is beneficial for treating wounds and skin diseases.

Useful health tips about vitamin A

• If you suffer from acne take vitamin A only from carotenoids;
• Do not consume vitamin A for long periods of time, even in low quantities, due to its harmful action on the liver;
• Vitamin E favors the absorption of vitamin A;
• If you are a smoker, take provitamin A because it has effective antioxidant properties, it improves vision and increases resistance to infection;
• Women taking birth control pills, people who frequently consume alcohol or have a diet that is low in fat may resort to vitamin A supplements.

Find out more health benefits of vitamins and minerals.

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