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Vitamin A (Retinol)- Information

Vitamin A: Daily Need
Infants, birth to 6 months 400 mcg
Infants, 7 to 12 months 500 mcg
Children, 1 to 3 years 300 mcg
Children, 4 to 8 years 400 mcg
Children, 9 to 13 years 600 mcg
Boys, 14 to 18 years 900 mcg
Girls, 14 to 18 years 700 mcg
Men, 19 years and older 900 mcg
Women, 19 years and older 700 mcg
Pregnant women, 14 to 18 years 750 mcg
Pregnant women, 19 years and older 770 mcg
Breastfeeding women, 14 to 18 years 1,200 mcg
Breastfeeding women, 19 years and older 1,300 mcg
mcg means Micrograms

Vitamin A
, also known as Retinol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that has considerable important functions in human body.

Vitamin A: History
References to Vitamin A deficiency and its treatment can be found in many places throughout history. However, in 1913, scientists announced it as a fat-soluble vitamin. It is a nutrient essential for growth and survival. Two groups of scientists were researching it that year. At the University of Wisconsin, E. V. McCullum and Marguerite Davies were one group and a group of T. B. Osborne and L. B. Mandel were working in Yale University. They separately demonstrated that a component of butter was essential for the physiological growth of rats. In 1930 T. Moore, a scientist, made an important discovery. A pigment called carotene is present in carrots and some other fruits. Vitamin A was found in their livers when given to mice deficient in vitamin A. Carotene is a yellow substance found in vegetables. It is converted into vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin A: Functions in Body
  • maintains eyes and vision
  • prevents eye diseases
  • essential for body growth
  • essential for reproduction and general health
  • increases immunity in chest and other disorders
  • helps keep the integument or lining of the eyes, lungs, stomach and intestines intact
  • aids in the digestion of proteins by aiding the digestive juices in the stomach
  • avoids skin diseases
  • hair, teeth and gums remain healthy
  • increases the permeability of micro blood vessels
  • helps to supply more oxygen to each cell
  • avoids premature and sudden old age, alternatively, youth lasts longer

Sources of Carotene
is a fat-soluble precursor of vitamin A that exists in green and yellow vegetables. A small portion of carotene is absorbed from the intestines and contributes to the yellow serum color. The major sources of Carotene are:

  • goat’s liver
  • eggs, milk, butter
  • vegetables
  • turnip leaves
  • drumstick
  • beets
  • carrots
  • mango
  • apricot
  • gooseberry
  • raspberry
  • orange etc.

Vitamin A: Deficiency Symptoms
Prolonged lack of vitamin A causes:

  • eye disorders
  • poor eyesight
  • night blindness
  • colds
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of enthusiasm
  • tooth decay
  • swollen gums
  • skin wrinkles
  • inner skin of the nose, throat, mouth, trachea, intestines, kidneys and vagina of women get affected.
  • bubble lining becomes rough
  • these organs deteriorate quickly
30,000 mcg daily intake of Vitamin A for a few months shows the toxic effects of vitamin A. Avoid giving 5550 mcg daily intake of Vitamin A to infants.

Symptoms of toxic effects are:

Hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, scaly skin, blurred vision, bone pain, irregular periods, fatigue, headache, liver swelling. If a large dose is taken at once, symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue etc. are seen.

12000 daily intake of Vitamin A several may cause symptoms such as leg pain, joint pain, hair loss, chapped lips, anal fissures, loss of appetite, fever and weight loss.

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