Fact: you need vitamin A in your body. What you may not know is that it has a recommended daily intake. If you go below or over it, there are health consequences. Today, you will know the right dosage for the vitamin and the complications that you may suffer.
Take Control of Your Vitamin A
The first thing that you need to know about vitamin A is that it is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that it is absorbed by the body through your intestinal tract. It is also processed through the help of lipids. The difference between a fat and water soluble vitamin is that the latter can be eliminated from the body, usually through urine. The former isn’t. Instead, it’s stored in the liver when not used. Moreover, it takes a long time for the body to remove the excess, which means that when you start to build up these excesses, you’re in danger of toxicity.
How Much You Need
There is thus a recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A. This is determined by the Food and Nutrition Board. The RDA is computed based on how much your body needs within 4 months, enough for the body to function properly and obtain its necessary immunity from viruses and bacteria.
RDA will also depend on the age of the individual. Children require lesser vitamin A compared to adults. For example, kids who are 3 years old and below only need to take in around 600 micrograms of the vitamin every day. Teens, on the other hand, especially those who are from 14 to 18 years old, should increase their vitamin intake to as much as 2,800 micrograms per day. Those who are more than 19 years old should consume 3,000 micrograms.
With doctor’s advice, however, you may have to increase your recommended intake when you’re suffering from infection, such as measles, HIV, AIDS, and respiratory problems, as well as from skin diseases such as severe acne and psoriasis. This vitamin can help speed up the process of your recovery.
Vitamin A Problems
Vitamin A deficiency happens when your intake falls below that what is recommended. This condition is very common in developing countries, affecting millions of children. Without enough vitamin, you will suffer from loss of weight and hair, impaired vision and night blindness, and poor skin condition. You will also easily get infected by viruses and bacteria.
There’s also the issue of toxicity when you go beyond the recommended daily allowance. A mild toxicity disease is around 4,000 micrograms while a severe one is more than 20,000 micrograms. You have to be wary when you take in more than what is suggested. This is because symptoms are not those that you can take lightly.
For one, you can suffer from nausea, weight loss, blurred vision, and permanent damage to your renal system. Your nails will also become brittle, and your skin will be very itchy. Most of all, your bones are very prone to fractures. You will be one of those who will develop osteoporosis as you get older.
OLD BOOKS image by © Daniel Gilbey | Dreamstime.com