Vitamin A | Benefits, Deciency, Toxicity, and Supplements

Involved in the development of night vision, as well as bones and the cells that make up skin and other coverings for organs. The form of vitamin A from animal sources is immediately available to the body for use, whereas the form from veeyegetables is called a "provitamin" and must first be converted by the body. Vitamin A is also commonly used in skin cream as an "anti aging" chemical.  


Symptoms of deficiency in vitamin A begin with "night blindness" and can progress to total blindness, however, deficiency is not a problem in developed countries. Malnutrition in developing countries is what leads to vitamin A deficiency.


Vitamin A has a high potential for toxicity, including possibly fatal results. Eating animal liver or cod liver oil regularly can lead to vitamin A poisoning. Adults shoud not consume more than 5000 IU (what's an IU?) per day. One way to consume more vitamin A is through yellow and red vegetables and fruits, which have to be converted by the body into vitamin A, and hence the dosage is regulated no matter how much you eat.


Dietary supplmentation with vitamin A is not necessary in places where nutrition is complete. Most people in the developed world do not require it.

Popular skin creams often have vitamin A, as the vitamin is used by the body in building cells that form coverings, such as skin.