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The Signs of a Vitamin A Deficiency

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Vitamin A plays a vital role in ensuring we have healthy vision and more. But what are the signs of a Vitamin A deficiency? Find out all you need to know here.

Vitamin A is a nutrient that plays an essential role in proper growth and functioning of many parts of the body. Vitamins are essential to maintaining nutrient levels of skin health, appearance and the function of crucial body parts. In this article we’re looking at why our bodies need vitamin A and what to look out for if we suspect a vitamin A deficiency.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamins A supports important bodily functions, such as vision, immune system, and good skin health. The vitamin is a fat-soluble, and is found in many foods, and whilst a vitamin A deficiency is rare, it isn’t impossible. Vitamin A is good for healthy eye support, immune system support, digestive, skin, and urinary systems support.

Signs on a Vitamin A deficiencyVitamin A

There are a few signs that may be a sign of a vitamin A deficiency, the main symptom that you will notice more or less straight away is a change in vision. Your eyes may also start to feel as though they are drying out or become irritated easily.

There has also been evidence to show that people who are suffering from a vitamin A deficiency notice a difference in the texture of their hair, they have complained of having a dry mouth, itchy or bumpy skin, frail nails, and become ill more frequently.  There are a few other symptoms to look out for, such as:

  • Infertility, or trouble conceiving
  • Delayed growth
  • Throat and chest infections
  • Slow wound healing
  • Acne or breakouts
  • Dry or cracked lips

How can I get more vitamin A?

There are different ways to make sure you are consuming enough vitamin A, and amongst them is taking a supplement. However, vitamin A comes in two forms, one is called beta-carotene which is found in plants, the other is more commonly known and is found in animal produce, retinol. Food sources of vitamin A form of retinol are eggs, milk and liver.Supplements in pot

Beta-carotene can be found in vegetables such as red and green vegetables, and fruits such as apricots, mangos and tomatoes. If you are suffering from a vitamin A deficiency your doctor will most likely prescribe a supplement to up your intake as well as suggesting foods to add into your diet.

Can I take too much vitamin A?Elderly woman rubbing eyes

Yes, you can take too much vitamin A, as with any vitamin, it has a recommended daily intake amount. For vitamin A, you should aim to take around 625 to 500mcg per day. Vitamin A is stored in the liver, which if too much is consumed, can be toxic. One of the most common side-effects of consuming too much vitamin A is skin irritation or dryness and headaches and nausea.

If you think you are suffering from a vitamins A deficiency but don’t know how much to take, or whether supplements are the most effective way for you to up your intake, get in touch with your doctor or pharmacist and they will suggest the best way forward for you. It is important when taking supplements, that you don’t go over the suggest daily intake, think about the combination of food and supplement to tot up the amount you would be consuming in a day.

Well, that is our guide on a vitamin A deficiency and the signs to look out for, if you think you’re deficient in a vitamin but the symptoms you are feeling aren’t on the list, why not check out our article on signs of a vitamin C deficiency, next?

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a-deficiency-symptoms#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10

https://www.whittington.nhs.uk/document.ashx?id=1958

https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/supplements/what-does-vitamin-a-do-benefits-sources-deficiency-symptoms/?affil=mpppc_campaign=71700000079906104&adtype=&product_id=&gclid=CjwKCAjwq5-WBhB7EiwAl-HEkmYKCQ82j_v6VQGGi1WwpaKt8_q6jEJZf5Y2HnrNt1Bzkg_q19fcuRoCUK0QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

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