Vitamin A: Nutrient For Eyes And Bones

Skin, eyes, bones, teeth โ€“ many organs and tissues in the body need vitamin A. If you eat a balanced diet, you can easily cover your daily vitamin A requirement. While the body needs a little more during pregnancy, an overdose can be dangerous.

What is vitamin A and what does it do in the body?

The term vitamin A encompasses several compounds such as retinol or retinoic acid, but they work similarly in the body. Vitamin A is particularly important for the eyes: With the help of vitamin A, they form the visual pigment that enables light and dark vision. So without vitamin A, we would be night blind. Vitamin A also helps build bones, cartilage, and teeth, and is involved in fat metabolism and blood formation. And the skin also needs vitamin A to regenerate and remain elastic. Therefore, vitamin A in the form of retinol is a popular ingredient in skin creams. Vitamin A also controls the growth of body cells and even helps to protect them. Because the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene captures aggressive oxygen compounds, so-called free radicals, in the body, which attack the cells.

Which foods contain a lot of vitamin A?

The daily requirement for vitamin A can usually be covered well with a balanced diet. Foods such as liver, palm oil, camembert, or eel contain high amounts of vitamin A. Vegetables such as carrots or kale are rich in the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene. Since vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble foods, it should always be taken with oil or fat. This is the only way the body can use it optimally.

What applies to vitamin A intake during pregnancy?

Vitamin A requirements are slightly increased during pregnancy. A lack of vitamin A in pregnant women can lead to complications such as anemia, infections, or night blindness. However, it is important not to overdose on vitamin A during pregnancy. Because even a single overdose โ€“ especially in the first trimester of pregnancy โ€“ can damage the unborn baby. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, therefore, recommends that pregnant women avoid liver and liver-containing foods that are particularly rich in vitamin A.

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