5 Most Important Things to Know Before Taking Supplements
Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins. It’s also a controversial vitamin, especially when it comes to its role in health and disease. Let’s take a look at what experts have been saying about this vitamin for decades.
- What Does Vitamin A Do?
The idea that vitamin A can be obtained from natural sources such as vegetables like carrots, apricots and sweet potatoes is the oldest misconception about this vitamin. The body cannot make vitamin A, so it must be taken orally or injected into the bloodstream in order to receive adequate amounts. In fact, there are two forms of vitamin A, both called retinol, which are named after their chemical structures. Retinaldehyde (retinol) converts to retinoic acid, which regulates growth, tissue differentiation and embryonic development. Retinoic acid is found in animal products like liver, eggs, milk and cheese. However, it is not found in plants.
Retinol is the form found in plant foods. This is because the body needs only retinol, which has been shown to prevent diseases that are associated with poor vision, including night blindness and macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. Other studies have shown that people who consume more fruits and veggies tend to live longer, while eating fewer processed meats may reduce your risk of colon cancer and certain types of lung cancer.
One problem with relying on supplements is that they often contain synthetic forms of this vitamin. While these forms may work just fine, they are not considered safe by the FDA due to the fact that they were created in a laboratory rather than found in nature. So, if you want to get all of your vitamin A from food sources, then eat plenty of orange-colored fruits and veggies, along with fish and poultry that contain high levels of beta carotene, another form of vitamin A.
Mostly all kinds of vitamins and minerals are known as gym supplements because these vitamins are an important part of bodybuilders and other athlete’s diet. Also with the help of these gym supplements bodybuilders complete their daily nutrition which is necessary for them if they want to build more muscle in their body. so if you are also going to gym then you can also take these supplements.
- Are There Any Risks From Taking Too Much Vitamin A?
There are no known risks of taking too much vitamin A. However, some research suggests that excess doses of beta-carotene may reduce immune function against respiratory infections, although these studies do not prove that taking more than a recommended dose will cause any harm.
If you decide to supplement with vitamin A, stick to the recommended dosage of 10,000 IU per day, but don’t exceed 30,000 IU unless prescribed by a doctor. If you take more than 30,000 IU of vitamin A, you may experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as headaches and dizziness.
- Is Vitamin A Safe For Pregnant Women?
Vitamin A has been used to treat pregnant women since the 1930s, when researchers noticed that mothers gave birth to babies with lighter skin color and less hair.
Studies have suggested that taking large doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can increase the risk of childhood leukemia, however, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently issued new guidelines stating that “there is insufficient evidence to recommend vitamin A supplementation for preventing neural tube defects.”
However, if you already have a child with a neural tube defect, taking extra vitamin A during pregnancy could improve fetal survival rates. So, if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your physician before starting any vitamin supplements.
- What Foods Contain Beta Carotene?
Beta carotene is present in many fruits and vegetables, and its effects on human health are widely debated. Some believe that taking beta carotene can help prevent cancer, while others think that it actually increases the risk of cancer. But regardless of whether beta carotene causes cancer, studies have shown that consuming fruits and vegetables rich in beta carotene reduces the risk of developing cancer later in life.
Some scientists believe that beta-carotene is broken down by our bodies into vitamin A. Others believe that it doesn’t break down at all and is simply stored in our tissues. Either way, there are three different forms of beta-carotene that we need to consume in order to get enough of this antioxidant.
These include alpha carotene, beta carotene and lycopene. All three kinds of beta carotene are found in vegetables and fruits, though not necessarily in equal proportions.
Carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cantaloupe, squash, red peppers, sweet potatoes, mangoes, peaches, apricots and watermelon are all great sources of beta carotene. Even though orange-colored fruits and vegetables are good sources of beta carotene, they aren’t the only ones containing this antioxidant. Studies show that dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, collard greens and Swiss chard, also contain beta carotene.
You can even find foods labeled with “high in beta carotene” if they are rich in other antioxidants, such as those found in blueberries and red bell pepper, as well. You can learn more about how to choose healthy foods by reading How To Eat Healthy Without Worrying About Calories.
- Where Can I Get My Vitamin A From?
Since the 1950s, the U.S. government has placed restrictions on the amount of vitamin A allowed in baby formula. According to the National Institutes of Health, infant formulas sold in the United States contain less than 1/10th of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is 400 international units (IU).
The Food and Drug Administration states that adults should limit their intake of vitamin A to 2,500 IU per day. When taken orally, vitamin A is best absorbed by infants and children, so you want to give them large meals containing foods like dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, egg yolk, butter and whole milk.
If you are over 50 years old, you should get your vitamin A from fortified foods, such as breads, cereals and breakfast bars, since you might not absorb the vitamin as efficiently as younger people.