Vitamin A - Why You Need It
You don’t usually hear about vitamin A as much as some of the other vitamins (like vitamin D) but it’s just as important for your body. Here’s why:
• Good Eyesight
Vitamin A is vital in converting the light that enters your eyes into the electrical signals sent to your brain. One symptom of a vitamin A deficiency may be night blindness, where you have no trouble with vision during the day but struggle at night as your eyes try to pick up low light levels. Vitamin A also helps slow the decline in good vision that people experience as they age.
• Immunity Boost
There are several of your body’s natural defenses that vitamin A plays a crucial role in. One is the function of mucous barriers that help trap infectious bacteria. Another is the production of white blood cells to clear pathogens from your blood. Being deficient in vitamin A can lower your defenses and make you more likely to get sick and slow recovery as you try and get better.
• Growth and Reproduction
Vitamin A is needed to keep reproductive systems in men and women healthy and also to support normal development of embryos during pregnancy. It helps support production of sperm cells and also improves egg quality and implantation. During pregnancy it helps develop the major organs, skeleton, and nervous system of the unborn child.
• Reduce Cancer Risk
Further human studies are needed, but it seems that getting adequate vitamin A (specifically in the form of beta-carotene from plant sources) may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Since cancer occurs when abnormal cells start to grow or divide uncontrollably and vitamin A plays an important role in the development of your cells, scientists continue to study its role in cancer prevention.
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