The first vitamin that was soluble in fat was Vitamin A. Discovered in 1913, its importance was soon realised. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy skin, bones, tissues, teeth and essentially for the eye. Its aids vision, skin health, helps the cells and tissues remain health. Aids in immunity, also pregnancy and embryonic development. It helps in the metabolism of bones and acts as an antioxidant. It aids in Haematopoiesis as well.
Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, which aids vision, especially in low light, is produced in the retina. It is also necessary for colour vision. It is also called “anti-infective” vitamin because it assists the immune system of the body. Retinol is absorbed by consuming animal food sources. The pure form being unstable, it is found as retinyl ester in tissues. Carotenes, alpha, beta and gamma and xanthophylls beta cryptoxanthin function in herbivores and omnivores. These are converted to retinal with the help of enzymes.
Vitamin A is a very useful mineral and its presence in the body is of immense importance as it protects it from a lot of health related issues.
• It treats many deficiency syndromes as well as has therapeutic uses. It is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. By keeping the mucous membrane moist and healthy it prevents diseases by stopping the entry of bacteria and viruses. It prevents diseases like measles, and HIV. It protects the body from viral parasitic and other bacterial diseases by building up the immune system. Low vitamin in blood causes viral diseases and intake of it helps in speedy recovery.
• People who have higher content of Vitamin A in their systems are not likely to have stroke or may not suffer from disabilities post stroke. It is because of Vitamin A’s ability to prevent strokes that people suffering from heart ailments are asked to eat green and carotenoid rich fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A also lowers cholesterol level.
• It has a massive role to play in prevention of cancer. It slows down tumourous growth and stops dividing of leukemia cells. It fights cancer by hindering DNA production in cancerous cells. Application on skin and consuming it prevents skin cancer.
• It also helps to lighten dark patches and liver spots. Liver spots are also reduced on application of Vitamin A supplements on them. It also works as a fine line eliminator and acts as an anti-ageing agent, removing wrinkles and age spots.
• Products rich in it helps cure acne.
• When used with minoxidil, it helps in treating baldness as well.
• It is important for the eye and the vision. It prevents night blindness and complete blindness. It also relieves dry-eye. When tear production decreases or stops, Vitamin A eye-drops improve the function of tear glands and returns eye moisture.
It has a huge range of benefits and hence its intake is necessary. It is best to intake Vitamin A naturally from the food sources and avoid taking supplements, since they can never be toxic.