Vitamin A is an antioxidant that offers the body balance and protection. Provitamin A carotenoids are pigments in plants that are responsible for beautifully colored fruits and vegetables. There are well over 600 carotenoids, but only a small number have been determined by scientists to be vital to human biology.
- Improved eyesight
- Prevention of night blindness
- Strong bone growth and thickness
- Assistance with diabetes
- Prevention of acne, boils, and open skin sores
- Maintenance of healthy hair, skin, and mucous membranes
- Strong tooth enamel
- Reduction of diarrhea and weight loss
Excellent Food Sources
- Sweet Potatoes
- Beef Liver
- Winter Squash
- Lycopene, the substance in tomatoes that makes them red, combats prostate cancer according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer Institute
- Alpha- and beta-carotenes are powerful antioxidants which help control the activity of free radicals within the body
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are helpful in strengthening failing vision
- Retinol is necessary for the normal functions of the eyes, lungs, and intestines.
- Low vitamin A intake can lead to decreased immune function
- Carotenoids work at a molecular level to prevent the formation of carcinogens, which are responsible for tumor growth
- Taking over-the-counter stomach acid-blocking drugs can dramatically reduce the absorption of carotenoids (herbal antacids like cool chamomile or peppermint teas are better; if more acid is needed, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or sauerkraut juice before taking beta-carotene)
Heinerman, John. Dr. Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Nature’s Vitamins and Minerals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1998. Print.