You know all about vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin D, but how well do you know vitamin A? Essential for new cell growth and healthy tissue, vitamin A is a carotenoid and retinol that contributes to the normal function of your overall wellbeing, such as your vision and immune system health.*
We get vitamin A naturally through our diet or by taking multivitamins that contain this essential vitamin. Vitamin A has countless health benefits, but what are they? Keep on reading to discover what vitamin A is, the benefits of vitamin A, and how to incorporate more vitamin A in your diet.
What is Vitamin A?
There are two main forms of vitamin A. The preformed vitamin A is what can be found in our beauty products and supplements as retinol, while the natural form of vitamin A are carotenoids and can be found in plant food sources.
When consumed, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by the human body and provides many health benefits.
Food sources of vitamin A include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Beef liver
Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency
If you don’t get enough vitamin A, you may be at risk of developing vitamin A deficiency. The severity may vary from person to person, but some signs of vitamin A deficiency may include:
- Vision problems, such as hazy eyes and night blindness
- Dry eyes
- Lower immunity
- Skin problems, such as dry skin and irritation
However, it’s important to note that too much vitamin A can be dangerous for you and is known as vitamin A toxicity. Most people can get the required amount of vitamin A from their diet alone, so it’s best to speak with your GP to get a better understanding of whether you need to take vitamin A or beta-carotene supplements.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin A?
Vitamin A has a host of health benefits, but here are our top three.
1. Supports eye health
Have you ever been told to eat carrots because they’re good for your eyesight? That’s thanks to vitamin A! Vitamin A contributes to the maintenance of normal vision as it provides your eyes with retinol. This helps to form rhodopsin, which plays an important role in providing information about colour and visual images in your retina.
Vitamin A also helps to form a barrier against foreign substances in your eyes too, making this vitamin essential for good vision and eye health.*
2. Supports Immune Health
Vitamin C isn’t the only nutrient that supports immune health! Vitamin A is also good for the immune system.* This essential vitamin is believed to support immune response elements, as well as respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.*
3. Supports Healthy Skin
Used in a variety of face creams in the form of retinol, vitamin A may help to heal skin, prevent breakouts, and support the skin’s immune system. This powerful vitamin promotes antioxidant health, which is not only good for your skin, but also good for overall wellness.*
Vitamin A supplements
If you want to increase your intake of vitamin A, the best way to do so is by eating a balanced diet with plenty of foods rich in vitamin A. While you can naturally consume vitamin A through a range of fruit, vegetables, and dairy products, you can also increase your intake through supplements that contain vitamin A, such as:
When adding vitamins and supplements to your routine, it is important to discuss with your GP to determine whether vitamin A supplements are right for you.
Want to learn more about eye health vitamins? Discover our guide on everything you need to know about lutein supplements:
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.