Diseases

Vitamin A

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Vitamin A Like Vitamins D, E and K, it is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. It is contained in animal foods and in plant foods in the form of precursor beta-carotene. Vitamin A is important for eyes and skin as well as for bones and teeth. Learn how much vitamin A you need and what foods contain it.

Article overviewVitamin A
  • What is vitamin A?
  • What is the role of vitamin A in the body?
  • What is the daily requirement of vitamin A?
  • High-content foods
  • How is a vitamin A deficiency expressed?
  • How is a vitamin A surplus expressed?

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a group of compounds that have a similar effect in the body. These include, for example, retinol (the transport form of the vitamin within the body), retinal and retinoic acid. In addition, there is with beta-carotene a precursor of the vitamin (provitamin): It is converted in the body into active vitamin A.

Vitamin A is taken from the diet into the blood in the small intestine. As a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in the body. This happens mainly in the liver.

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What is the role of vitamin A in the body?

Vitamin A is involved in the visual process (especially at night), because in the form of retinal it is part of the visual purple (rhodopsin) in the retina. There it is built into the rods and helps to distinguish between light and dark.

In addition, vitamin A is involved in reproduction: It plays a role in the production of testosterone, in the development of sperm cells, in the buildup of the placenta (mother cake) and in the maturation of the fetus.

We also need vitamin A for healthy bones, cartilage and teeth.

Skin build-up and regeneration are also supported by the vitamin, more specifically by retinol. This is converted in the skin to vitamin A acid (retinoic acid), which is to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Therefore, retinol is often found as an ingredient in skin creams and serums.

Beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, helps against free radicals: These are aggressive oxygen compounds that are constantly in the body (in metabolic processes, by UV radiation, nicotine, drugs, etc.). They are dangerous because they can damage cells and the genetic material DNA. Beta-carotene has an antioxidant effect, so it can help "defuse" free radicals.

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