Vitamin A provides both skin and health benefits. Vitamin A is one of powerful antioxidant vitamins. It can be found in many foods. However, you need to know vitamin A dosage and understand the forms of vitamin A to avoid toxicity.
Vitamin A: Skin Benefits
Vitamin A skin benefits include helping with acne, stretch marks, wounds, wrinkles, and eczema; preventing premature aging; contributing to proper skin cell growth and repair; and promoting healthy skin. Vitamin A is one of supplements for acne.
Topical vitamin A derivatives, or retinoids, also benefit the skin. It helps prevent clogged pores, the main cause of acne, by helping the pores remove dead skin cells. Retinoids also help with wrinkles reduction and skin aging prevention.
Vitamin A: Health Benefits
Vitamin A health benefits include regulating the immune system; improving night vision; assisting the formation of bone and teeth; and preventing urinary stones.
Vitamin A: Antioxidant
Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals. Free radicals damage cells, causing wrinkles, aging, cancer, and other disease.
Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that occurs in two forms- retinol and beta carotene (provitamin A). Retinol is a true form of vitamin A which is absorbed when eating animal food sources such as liver, eggs, and milk. Another form of vitamin A is beta carotene which can be found in vegetables such as carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, broccoli, and yellow fruits. Beta carotene does not cause toxicity because your body converts it into Vitamin A only when the vitamin is needed.
Dose of Vitamin A
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A is 5,000 IU per day for adult male and 4,000 IU per day for adult female. However, the dosage is usually increased considerably for therapeutic purposes but should not exceed 10,000 IU.
Vitamin A Toxicity
Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, it is stored in the liver or fatty tissues and is eliminated slowly. Therefore, too much intake of vitamin A can cause toxicity. Toxicity occurs at a dose of 25,000 IU. Vitamin A supplements are more likely to contain retinol which can lead to toxicity so check the label to be sure the majority of vitamin A provided is in the form of beta-carotene. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include nausea, dry skin, headaches, loss of appetite, and other symptoms.
Deficiency of Vitamin A
A deficiency of vitamin A leads acne, dry skin, dry coarse hair, dandruff, broken fingernails, dry eyes, night blindness, and weight loss. Insomnia, fatigue, and reproductive difficulties may also be indicative of deficiency of vitamin A.