Minerals and vitamins are an essential component part of our diet and we cannot expect wholesome health if we don’t include these in our daily diet. Minerals and vitamins should neither be taken in excess (over dosage) nor be taken less than required. Excessive consumption of a particular type of mineral or nutrient can be harmful to the body. Similarly, if you any specific mineral or vitamin from your diet, it can have an adverse affect on your body.
Some essential minerals and vitamins that should be a part of our daily diet include- Biotin(B- complex), folate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. Minerals like boron, calcium, chlorine, chromium, copper, fluorine, chlorine, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, iron, selenium, sodium, zinc and vanadium are equally important.
Let us have a brief look on the importance of Vitamin A for our body
- Vitamin A in food or as supplements should be 600-700µg for women and 700-900 µg for men per day.
- High dosage of Vitamin A can result in dry and scaly skin, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, bone and joint pain along with headaches.
- Deficiency of vitamin A can also cause problems like Keratomalacia and blindness, skin damage and frequent severe infections.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that is required for our growth, for the healthy growth of bones, and tissue development. It has a specific role in maintaining our skin and the mucous lining like the lining of the nose, eyes, and the throat. These have a vital role in protecting from bacteria and viruses from entering our body. Vitamin A boosts up the immune system of the body and protects us from harmful bacteria and viruses. Our eyes need vitamin A the most. Many parts of our eyes including the rhodopsin in the retina of our eyes, which is very crucial for the night vision, depend on Vitamin A for their proper functioning.
Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble, unsaturated hydrocarbons called retinoids, including retinol, retinal and retinyl esters. Vitamin A is vital for vision, immune system, reproduction and cellular communication. There are two types of Vitamin A present in human diet called the preformed vitamin A, which are retinol and retinyl esters and the pro-vitamin A, carotenoids.
The preformed vitamin A is absorbed by the body from the food sources from animals, like yellow fat, fish, meat or poultry, dairy products, which are also fat-soluble substances. Vitamin A is present in the tissues is the form of retinyl esters. Vitamin A is stored in the liver of the animals and human. It is thus advisable to consume the liver of the animals we usually add to our diet. Whereas, the pro-vitamin A carotenoids or carotenes, alpha- carotenes, gamma-carotenes and beta cryptoxanthin are absorbed by our body from the green pigments of the plant. They are also found in orange, yellow, and red fruits and veggies.
Next, the question arises: Where else do we find Vitamin A? In addition, are we eating the right amount of Vitamin A? Well the surveys state that Americans are consuming adequate amount of vitamin A, over 10,000 IU daily. Given here are the sources of vitamin A that can be included in the daily diet to increase the vitamin A content in your body:
- Cooked liver and beef, 3 oz
- Cooked, liver and chicken, 3 oz
- Egg substitute, fortified eggs, ¼ cup
- Fat free milk which is fortified with vitamin , 1 cup
- Cheese pizza or half 12 inch pie.
- Whole milk, 1 cup
- Whole egg, 1 medium sized
- Cheddar cheese, 1 oz
- Yogurt, 1 cup
What will happen if we take excess of Vitamin A?
If you are consuming vitamin A more than the required average, then this might have an effect on your bones over the years. You can experience fracture in bones in your older age. This condition is known as Osteoporosis, when the bone density would decrease and you have higher risk of fractures. Eating liver or liver pâté more than once in a week can increase the level of vitamin A in your body.
Most of the multivitamins supplements contain vitamin A. Fish liver oil has high content of vitamin A. If you are taking supplements, then make sure that you reduce the daily intake of vitamin A in your food. Pregnant women should not take multi-vitamins that have vitamin A, You might consider asking your physicians or ask a doctor free- online before taking any multivitamins.