The Vitamin A is one of the most important micronutrients for Health. Among its implications in the body, it is essential to prevent vision problems and helps maintain a healthy skin; in addition to being beneficial for bones and the teeth.
Unlike other vitamins, such as ‘D’, vitamin A is found in a wide variety of foods. In this sense, simply with a correct diet it is possible to meet the daily needs of this micronutrient for the body.
On the one hand we find preformed vitamin A, which is found mostly in meat foods, fish and dairy products. While provitamin A is found in vegetables, fruits and products of plant origin. They are the two types of vitamin A that we can find.
In addition to food, to have adequate levels of this micronutrient in the body it is possible to go to vitamin supplements. In these cases, it is advisable to have the supervision of a medical specialist, in order to establish control and avoid excesses or deficiencies.
Thus, the United States National Institute of Health has drawn up a table that lists the sufficient daily dose of vitamin A that a person needs, depending on age and gender:
|Stage of life||Recommended amount|
|From birth to 6 months of age||400 mcg RAE|
|Babies 7 to 12 months of age||500 mcg RAE|
|Children 1 to 3 years of age||300 mcg RAE|
|Children 4-8 years old||400 mcg RAE|
|Children 9 to 13 years old||600 mcg RAE|
|Teen boys ages 14 to 18||900 mcg RAE|
|Adolescent girls 14 to 18 years of age||700 mcg RAE|
|Adult men||900 mcg RAE|
|Adult women||700 mcg RAE|
|Pregnant teens||750 mcg RAE|
|Pregnant women||770 mcg RAE|
|Lactating adolescents||1,200 mcg RAE|
|Breastfeeding women||1,300 mcg RAE|
According to experts, the best solution to have adequate levels of vitamin A in the body is to eat a balanced diet, with a predominance of fruits and vegetables; but also with an important presence of meat and fish.
Excess of vitamin A and its consequences
Sometimes, there can also be cases of excess vitamin A in the body. This phenomenon is called hypervitaminosis A and two types are distinguished:
- Acute: This is caused by an excess of vitamin A in a relatively short period of time.
- Chronicle: It is when an excess of this micronutrient is taken over a long or prolonged period of time.
When there is a case of hypervitaminosis A it can be reflected in a series of symptoms in the body, of lesser or greater severity. Among them, the following stand out:
- Bone pain and numbness
- Blurred vision in children
- Decreased appetite
- Fragile hair and skin
- Enlargement of the liver and spleen.
Thus, some experts warn that taking too much vitamin A during pregnancy can cause abnormal development of the fetus and malformations.
To stop an excess of this micronutrient, the solution is to stop incorporating vitamin A into the body until it recovers levels considered normal.