Did you know that your diet can often be the cause of many health problems? Making sure you get enough vitamins and minerals every day is essential for the body’s natural functions and overall well-being. Certainly, as certain nutrients are increasingly difficult to find in our modern diet, it can be difficult to meet the required intakes. One vitamin in particular is important for the maintenance of good health: Vitamin A.
Signs of vitamin A deficiency can range from mild fatigue to serious complications. And if left untreated, it can lead to more serious symptoms over time. This is why we are here today; let’s look at six key signs that indicate your diet may not be getting enough vitamin A!
1er sign: Dry skin.
Vitamin A deficiency can have effects on skin health, and one of the most commonly reported consequences is dry skin. Vitamin A promotes the maintenance of an adequate level of hydration in the skin, thus blocking the desiccants which cause the lack of humidity and, by reverse reasoning, contribute to the appearance of flaking and roughness of the skin.
Vitamin A deficiency can also significantly reduce collagen production and damage the naturally present protective lipid mantle, leading to increased skin sensitivity and a tendency for excessive irritation. Visible improvement should not normally be expected until appropriate vitamin A levels can be achieved.
2ᵉ sign: Night blindness or night blindness.
Night blindness is a visual impairment that makes it difficult or impossible to see in low light conditions. When a person does not get enough vitamin A, the eye does not produce enough rhodopsin – also known as visual purple – to allow clear vision at night. This can lead to poor dark adaptation and therefore night blindness.
People with this condition may have difficulty adjusting to low light, which makes nighttime activities such as walking or driving more difficult or even dangerous because objects appear blurry and indistinct.
3ᵉ sign: Dry eyes.
Vitamin A deficiency affects both eyesight and the health of your eyes. One of the most common signs of vitamin A deficiency is dry eyes. Lack of sufficient vitamin A affects the production and quality of tears, leading to excessive dryness, itching and burning. This can cause considerable discomfort and make it difficult to perform daily tasks such as reading or looking at a screen for long periods of time.
If left untreated, long-term dry eye can increase the risk of other eye conditions, such as corneal ulcers, which can seriously endanger eye health. It’s important to stay alert for any symptoms that could indicate vitamin A deficiency, especially when it relates to vision.
4ᵉ sign: Bad immunity.
When our body lacks the essential soluble materials that vitamin A provides, homeostasis is disrupted, leading to a weakened immune system as well as an increased risk of other dietary deficiencies.
Vitamin A influences the health of the immune system by stimulating white blood cells that fight infection and disease. Low levels of this vitamin can increase your risk of infection because it weakens your body’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to potential threats such as bacteria or viruses.
5ᵉ sign: Hair loss.
Hair loss can be a sign of vitamin A deficiency due to its role in the production and maintenance of hair follicles. This vitamin is important for the sebaceous glands, which produce oils that keep our scalp hydrated and healthy. When the production of these oils is insufficient, the scalp can become dry and weak, leading to thinning hair and, consequently, hair breakage and loss. Additionally, a vitamin A deficiency means that the transport of nutrients to each follicle can be slowed or even stopped, resulting in slower hair growth. If left untreated, a severe deficiency can lead to complete baldness.
6ᵉ sign: Poor healing of wounds.
When our body does not have enough vitamin A, it can have a negative impact on the healing time of wounds and bruises. As vitamin A deficiency can increase susceptibility to infections due to weakened immune system.
Where to find vitamin A?
Finding sources of vitamin A is easier than it looks. Many vegetables, including sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale and squash, are all great sources of vitamin A.
Dietary supplements containing beta-carotene as well as fortified foods such as milk and cereals are also important sources of this nutrient. Also, many types of fish such as tuna and salmon contain more than enough vitamin A to meet daily requirements. With these different options, people can find an easily accessible source of vitamin A, regardless of their dietary preference.
Reminder: What is the recommended daily intake of vitamin A?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin A varies according to the age and sex of the individual. For children, the adequate intake is between 200 and 300 micrograms per day. Teenagers should aim for 400 micrograms per day, while adults can get by with 700 to 900 micrograms of vitamin A per day.
Depending on their stage of pregnancy or lactation, pregnant or breastfeeding women need 750 to 1200 micrograms per day. Older people need slightly more vitamin A than adult men and women; their recommended daily intake is 800 to 1000 micrograms.