Vitamin A: Its Pros and Cons

Who in his right mind would deprive himself of vitamins, such as retinol? This is also known as vitamin A. Indeed, as there are more and more people who are becoming conscious of their own health, they are also slowly educating themselves and receiving the benefits of including vitamin A–rich foods in their diet.

What You Get from Vitamin A

One of the foremost reasons why you are encouraged to eat green and leafy yellow vegetables and fruits, not to mention dairy products, is because they are rich in vitamin A. For one, it greatly improves your eyesight, making sure that your windows to the soul remain healthy all the time. It allows you to easily adjust to different lighting conditions and prevents the development of night blindness.

This vitamin also contains antioxidant properties, which means that you can get rid of body toxins or free radicals, which are the common causes of people’s illnesses. It can also act as your body’s defenders, kicking out parasites, viruses, and bacteria that can cause infection. Studies also show that it can stop the increasing level of cholesterol in your blood and can thus aid in preventing coronary heart diseases.

Vitamin A is also known to be very good for the skin. It improves skin conditions, especially if you’re afflicted with psoriasis, pimples, and acne. Moreover, because it’s an antioxidant, it slows down the signs of aging. It stops the premature appearance of fine lines and even wrinkles in your eyes, face, and skin. Vitamin A can also reduce or completely eliminate your age spots.

The Downside of It

But then again, all is not completely good when it comes to vitamin A, and it can be attributed to its natural characteristic. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that those that are not processed by the body will not be easily removed. This is unlike the water-soluble vitamins that tend to dissolve right away. When you have too much vitamin A in your body, you may suffer from toxicity.

Toxicity is the result when you have taken in more than 4,000 IU per kilogram in your body. One may also suffer from acute toxicity, which is a staggering 25,000 IU/kg.

This illness is something that you should not take lightly as the effects can range from discomforting to deadly. For starters, you can suffer from jaundice and nausea. There are also others who develop anorexia nervosa, a kind of eating disorder. People may also experience headaches, migraines, and drowsiness. Most of their muscles will go very weak, and their abdomen will be in a lot of pain. Ironically, a person who has a high level of vitamin A in his body will suffer from blurry vision.

If you’re suffering from renal problems, there’s a huge chance that toxicity can hurt you permanently. Bones can become very brittle, and you can easily fracture yourself, especially your hips. Most of the people who have a high intake of vitamin A develop osteoporosis a lot faster than those that don’t.