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Vitamin Week, Where Better To Start With Than Vitamin A?

Posted Jan 07 2009 4:41pm

Vitamin A Vitamins are an essential part of your diet. If you eat right then you probably get just enough of what you need. If you don’t or you are a picky eater, then you might need to take a multivitamin supplement. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to take one anyway.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it can be stored in fat cells and is harder for the body to dispose of excess like it can with water soluble vitamins. Taken in excess, vitamin A can be toxic.

It seems from what I have found that Fat Soluble vitamins are often measured in their potency with the IU (International Units) scale and not the milligram scale that water soluble vitamins are measured in. Vitamin A’s recommended daily value of 100% is 5000 IU as you will see on most Multivitamin labels. If you are eating right and getting enough vitamin A through your food diet then there is not much need if any for excess Vitamin A. Even though it is said that most people, specifically children in non-prospering nations don’t get enough Vitamin A, it is also said that most people that take a vitamin A supplement are getting more than twice the recommended daily allowance. I’ll get in to the effects of excess and toxicity in a bit.

First, let’s look at some benefits of Vitamin A:

Remember those children I just mentioned that are vitamin A deficient? Vision is one of the benefits of Vitamin A and those children that are deficient have vision problems and even blindness. Vitamin A directly contributes to the Retinal form of the eye, which is far more complicated than I care to explain or even know. Basically the Beta-Carotene form of Vitamin A, which is often found heavily in Carrots, thus the often heard “Eat your carrots, they’re good for you eyes” statement.

Vitamin A is also good for your skin. It can reduce the bacteria in the duct and skin surfaces with acne helping results.

Toxicity of excess Vitamin A:

Taking more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) can results in some minor side effects as well as some more concerning side effects. Some of the uncomfortable effects may be: Diarrhea, hair loss, insomnia, fever, dried mucus membranes and  fatigue. Some of the more serious effects of excess vitamin A are bone loss problems as well as poor fetus development.

Some good sources of natural Vitamin A are:

  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach, Papaya
  • Mango
  • Brocolli
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Liver (Although I would never recommend organ meat to anyone)

Before you start or increase a Vitamin A through supplements consult your physician first to ensure that you do not take in excess vitamin A.


These are great sources to read more on Vitamin A.

Image © Health And Men 2009

Tags: Beta Carotine, Vitamin A

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