Vitamin A, also known as Retinol or Retinoic Acid, is important for our immune system, vision, growth, cell division, and reproduction. Vitamin A also contains powerful antioxidants to help protect our cells from the harmful effects of free radicals found in the environment.
Many foods are rich in Vitamin A such as spinach, liver, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Since our body naturally converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, foods rich in beta-carotene are also good sources such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin A is available in dietary supplements in several different forms. Most multivitamin and mineral supplements contain Vitamin A, or you can find it in the form of retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, beta-carotene, or a combination of these. At Edge Weight Loss and Fatigue we offer Vitamin A as one of our weekly injections. An injectable form of any nutrient allows that nutrient to go directly to your bloodstream, bypassing the stomach, and allowing a higher dose to be taken that typically wouldn’t be tolerated orally.
Vitamin A deficiencies are rare in the United States, but common in many developing countries. The most common symptom of a Vitamin A deficiency is the inability to see in low light, which if left untreated can lead to blindness. Premature infants, young children, and pregnant women are more susceptible to a Vitamin A deficiency. On the other hand, getting too much Vitamin A can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches. In pregnant women, high doses of Vitamin A may cause birth defects. It is important to speak with your health professional before taking Vitamin A to be sure you are getting the proper amount for your body.
Vitamin A supplements have not shown to prevent cancer, but studies have shown that taking Vitamin A may lower your risk for some cancers, such as Lung and Prostate cancer. However, smokers who take high doses of beta-carotene supplements have an increased risk of lung cancer. Vitamin A has also been associated with slowing down vision loss in age-related macular degeneration in older adults.
The recommended dosage for Vitamin A changes with different life stages. See the chart below for recommended doses according to the National Institute of Health.
|Life Stage||Recommended Amount|
|Birth to 6 months||400 mcg RAE|
|Infants 7–12 months||500 mcg RAE|
|Children 1–3 years||300 mcg RAE|
|Children 4–8 years||400 mcg RAE|
|Children 9–13 years||600 mcg RAE|
|Teen boys 14–18 years||900 mcg RAE|
|Teen girls 14–18 years||700 mcg RAE|
|Adult men||900 mcg RAE|
|Adult women||700 mcg RAE|
|Pregnant teens||750 mcg RAE|
|Pregnant women||770 mcg RAE|
|Breastfeeding teens||1,200 mcg RAE|
|Breastfeeding women||1,300 mcg RAE|
For more information on vitamins and other therapies to keep you on a path to health and wellness naturally, give us a call at 832-789-4989 and speak to one of our professional staff members. We look forward to working with you to reach your health and fitness goals.