The uses of vitamin A are less well known than other vitamins – however, ‘retinoids’ and ‘retinoic acid’ are commonly used skincare products that are actually derived from vitamin A! Keep reading to find out more about the sources and uses of vitamin A.
In this article, you’ll find:
- What Is Vitamin A?
- What Does Vitamin A Do?
- Vitamin A Benefits
- How Much Vitamin A Do We Need?
- Vitamin A Side Effects
- How To Take Vitamin A Supplements
- Vitamin A Food Sources
What Is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is considered to be an ‘essential’ nutrient; this means it has to be obtained via dietary sources. Being fat-soluble, Vitamin A requires a certain amount of dietary fat in order to be utilised and stored effectively.
Vitamin A can be found in animal products in the form of retinol and retinyl esters, which the body can use immediately. A precursor to vitamin A – provitamin A carotenoids – can be found in plant sources. The body naturally converts this into a usable form of vitamin A.
What Does Vitamin A Do?
Vitamin A has a whole host of functions within the body including immunity support, eye health, cell generation, and skin health. Vitamin A interacts with both short and long-term immune systems, providing extra support against infection. Vitamin A also plays a role in cellular differentiation which can have a variety of benefits; most commonly, vitamin A supplementation is used for the treatment of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Vitamin A Benefits
Vitamin A is vital to many intracellular processes, including cell signalling. In fact, it has its own signalling pathways which use Retinoic acid Receptors and Cellular Retinoic Acid Binding Proteins. Let’s explore how these proteins and receptors are used beneficially.