Vitamin A is great for maintaining eye health, but your eyes are not the only things that benefit from Vitamin A. It is derived from two different sources: preformed retinoids and provitamin carotenoids. As a supplement, Vitamin A has many benefits. It is also great for skin, bones, immune system and to improve fertility. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids are antioxidants that can help decrease your risk of cancer. Vitamin A is a vital fat-soluble vitamin that can greatly improve your overall health!
What is Vitamin A
Vitamin A itself comes in many forms, but the three most significant forms are retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. Despite being very similar in name, the three forms each play different roles in the body. Retinol, the animal form of Vitamin A, is the most common supplement form. It can be converted in the body to retinal, which is important for eye health, and retinoic acid, which is great for the skin, bones, and teeth.
Retinol is the “food form” of Vitamin A, and the body can easily convert it to retinal and retinoic acid as needed. Food sources of retinol, the active form of Vitamin A, include animal products like eggs, liver, beef, and dairy products. Beta-carotene and the other carotenoids, which can be converted to Vitamin A in the body, are found in orange fruits and vegetables.
Retinal is the form of Vitamin A that plays a vital role in eye health. Retinal regulates the conversion of light into impulses that allow us to see. Because of this important function of retinal, Vitamin A deficiency is often characterized by vision impairment and night blindness.