According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, 55 percent of Americans do not obtain adequate levels of vitamin A. The vitamin provides many health benefits.
A-MAZING HEALTH BENEFITS
Night blindness. One of the classic signs of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness, characterized by difficulty seeing in the dark or being blinded after exposure to a glaring light (e.g., oncoming headlines). Most serious eye diseases, including cataract, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, are associated with night blindness.
Retinitis Pigmentosa. Doctors commonly recommend 15,000 IU of vitamin A daily for people with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease that accelerates the breakdown of the retina. A recent study found that adding 12 mg of lutein daily further slows vision deterioration in people with this disease.
Cancer protection.Researchers have established the benefits of vitamin A in protection against epithelial cancers, including cancers of the breast and ovary. (Carcinomas are epithelial-related cancers.) In one recent animal study, vitamin A protected against radiation- and estrogen-induced breast cancers. Vitamin A promotes normal differentiation of cells, whereas cancer cells are undifferentiated.
Infection resistance. A 1928 article in the British Medical Journal described vitamin A as the "anti-infective" vitamin-so impressive was its effect on countering bacterial infections, including those of the lungs and urinary tract.
Vitamin A Checklist: How to Get the Best Results
- Use vitamin A: While beta-carotene has many health benefits, recent research has found that many people do not efficiently convert it to vitamin A. In addition, intestinal bacteria are needed to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A. Unbalanced intestinal bacteria and acid-blocking drugs likely interfere with this conversion.
- Think zinc: Some research indicates that zinc deficiency may interfere with vitamin A activity, and that vitamin A deficiency can worsen iron-deficiency anemia.
- Take precautions if pregnant: A 1995 study found that pregnant women who took more than 5,000 IU of vitamin A daily were more likely to deliver babies with cranial-facial birth defects. Although the risk is small, pregnant women should not take more than this amount of vitamin A.
- Consider taking 10,000 IU of vitamin A daily. This is a typical dosage if you experience night blindness or susceptibility to infections (and are not pregnant).
Source Naturals Active A with Beta Carotene 25,000 IU Tablets contain 10,000 IU of vitamin A. and 15,000 IU of beta-carotene in one tablet.
NOW Foods Vitamin A 25,000 IU Softgels provide high-quality vitamin A from fish liver oil.
Nature's Plus Vitamin A Water Dispersible 10,000 IU Tablets are enriched with lemon grass oil, which is used in the chemical synthesis of vitamin A.
Carlson Vitamin A with Pectin 25,000 IU Softgels provide an emulsified and highly absorbable form of vitamin A.
Nordic Naturals Children's DHA Strawberry 250 mg Chewable Softgels are made from 100% Arctic cod livers and contain naturally occurring vitamins A and D.