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What is Vitamin A? In what foods is it found?

Monday, September 6, 2021


Vitamins, which take its name from vital functions, have different functions in the body. Vitamin A, which is the most important component for the sight to work without problems, actually functions in many roles in the body, from the reproductive system to immune function.

What are the duties of vitamin A in the body?

The known functions of vitamin A in the body can be summarized as follows:

persistence of visual function (vit – A provides stimulation of rhodopsia, a protein that absorbs light in the retina layer of the eye)
immune function,
reproductive,
cellular communication,
supporting cell growth and differentiation,
ensuring the normal formation and protection of the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs

How much vitamin A should you take daily?

The amount of vit – A that should be taken daily was determined as 900 mcg (microgram) in adult men and 700 mcg in women. While this rate is 770 mcg in pregnancy, nursing mothers should take 1300 mcg, vit – A daily.

What are the foods that contain vitamin A?

“What’s in vitamin A?” is a very curious topic. Vitamin A is available in the human diet in two forms, “pre-formed vitamin A (retinol)” or “provitamin A”. Vitamins are molecules that are ready to be used in the body, while provitamins are molecules that can be converted into vitamins after a procedure in the body.

Pre-formed vitamin A (Retinol)

Pre-formed vitamin A; It is found in animal-sourced foods, including dairy products, fish and meat (especially the liver).

The sources and quantities of pre-formed vitamin A from the top down are as follows:

Beef Liver: 9442 mcg per 100 grams
Lamb Liver: 7.491 mcg per 100 grams
Cod liver oil: 1,350 mcg in 1 teaspoon
King Mackerel: 252 mcg per 100 grams
Salmon: 149 mcg per 100 grams
Bluefin Tuna: 757 mcg per 100 grams
Goat Cheese: 407 mcg in 100 grams
Butter: 97 mcg in 1 tablespoon
92 mcg of cheddar cheese in 1 slice
Roquefort Cheese: 83 mcg per 30 gram serving
Hard Boiled Eggs: 74 mcg in 1 large egg
Trout: 100 mcg in 100 grams
Blue Cheese: 56 mcg per 30 gram serving
Cream Cheese: 45 mcg in 1 tablespoon
Caviar: 43 mcg in 1 tablespoon
White Cheese: 35 mcg per 30 gram serving

Herbal sources of Provitamin A

The human body can also produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in plants. These carotenoids contain alpha and beta-carotene, collectively known as provitamin A.

However, about 45% of people carry a genetic mutation that significantly reduces their ability to convert provitamin A to vitamin A. In other words, people carrying this mutation cannot synthesize vitamin A at the rates listed below. Therefore, vitamin A directly in its pre-formed form; It should be taken from animal foods or dietary supplements.

Here are the vegetables you can get provitamin A:

Sweet Potato (cooked): 1.043 mcg per 100 grams
Winter Squash (cooked): 558 mcg per 100 grams
Curly cabbage (cooked): 681 mcg per 100 grams
Carrot (cooked): 392 mcg in 1 medium carrot, 852 mcg in 100 grams
Sweet Red Pepper (raw): 257 mcg in 1 large pepper
Spinach (raw): 469 mcg per 100 grams
The fruits with the most provitamin A can be summarized as follows:

Mango: 181 mcg in 1 medium mango
Melon: 1 large slice: 172 mcg
Pink or Red Grapefruit: 1 medium grapefruit 143 mcg
Watermelon: 80 mcg in 1 slice
Papaya: 74 mcg in 1 small papaya
Apricot: 34 mcg in 1 medium apricot
Tangerine: 30 mcg in 1 medium tangerine
Nectarine: 24 mcg in 1 medium nectar

What are the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency?

In vitamin A deficiency, you can observe symptoms such as dryness on your skin that resembles eczema and late healing of wounds. Also, acne problems are frequently observed in vitamin A deficiencies.

In addition, recurrent throat and chest infections occur in vitamin A deficiency.

As vitamin A is another important task of vit – A, the medical condition called night blindness can occur in very serious deficiency.In mild vit – A deficiencies, dry eyes are encountered.Infertility is a condition that can occur in vitamin A deficiency. vit – A deficiency in children can cause growth retardation.

Who is at risk for vitamin A deficiency?

Premature babies: Clinical vit – A deficiency in developed countries is a rare condition in infants and occurs only in those with malabsorption (intestinal absorption) disorder. However, preterm babies do not have enough stores of liver vit – A at birth, and plasma concentrations of retinol usually remain low in the first year of life. The risk of eye, chronic lung and gastrointestinal disease increases in premature babies with vit – A deficiency.

Infants and Young Children in Developing Countries: In developed countries, the amount of vitamin A in breast milk is sufficient to meet the needs of babies in the first 6 months of life. However, in women with vitamin A deficiency, the breast milk volume and vit – A content are insufficient, and it is not sufficient to protect adequate vit – A stores only in breastfed infants. The prevalence (frequency of occurrence) of vitamin A deficiency in developing countries begins to increase immediately after breastfeeding of young children.

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women in Developing Countries: Pregnant women need extra vitamin A to support fetal growth and tissue care and their own metabolism. The World Health Organization estimates that 9.8 million pregnant women worldwide have xerophthalmia (abnormal eye dryness) due to vitamin A deficiency. Other effects of vit – A deficiency in pregnant and lactating women include increased maternal and infant death, an increased risk of anemia, and slower baby growth and development.

Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis: Most people with cystic fibrosis have pancreatic insufficiency. This increases the risk of vitamin A deficiency due to difficulty in absorbing fat. Some studies have found that 15 to 40% of patients with cystic fibrosis have vit – A deficiency. However, advanced pancreatic replacement therapies, better nutrition and caloric supplements have helped most patients with cystic fibrosis to have enough vitamin A.

What should we be careful about while taking vitamin A?

You can also get vitamin A from over-the-counter multivitamin supplements. However, a specialist should be consulted before using such products because taking high levels of vit – A for a long time can have a toxic effect on the body. Also, if there is any other drug you are using (blood thinners, drugs acting on liver enzymes), the drug-drug interaction should be evaluated by a specialist. The way to get vit – A into the body in a healthy way is through foods and it is not possible to show vitamin A toxicity in this way.

We wish you healthy days.

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