Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins to our body, it is required to create healthy skin cells.
It can be found in most of the yellow, orange, and green vegetables on our table as well as in animal edible sources.
But when it comes to Psoriasis patients, what is the vitamin A role in their body? Let’s find out.
Psoriasis patients can use vitamin A as supplementation. It can aid in the healing process of the skin, nevertheless, it is always preferable to obtain all the nutrients for your body throughout a proper diet.
Vitamin A can also be applied through a topical product, which results in a slower absorption in the body.
Before taking supplements to manage a specific ailment always consult your doctor.
Throughout this article, we will see vitamin A role in our body and the foods that can be consumed to get it.
Vitamin A and Its Importance in the Human Body
Vitamins are essential nutrients for the body, but we cannot produce them ourselves; for this reason, knowing where they can be found, and how/when to consume them is fundamental.
Considered one of the most important, vitamin A is also called Retinol and is famous for its antioxidant composition, strengthening the immune system and protecting the skin.
Vitamin A chooses brightly colored foods to be lodged in and has essential functions in people’s organisms, including improving vision, aid in growth, contributing to the formation of teeth, collagen formation, and cell renewal.
As a substance with antioxidant action, vitamin A is beneficial for fighting acne, inhibiting carcinogenesis, fighting anemia, preventing skin ulcers, improving immunity, and preventing periodontitis.
Vitamin A Rich Foods
Vitamin A is found in both animal and vegetable sources. In animal sources, vitamin A appears as retinol. In vegetables, it takes the form of carotene.
The latter are precursors of vitamin A that are called pro-vitamin A.
They are so-called because they are converted into retinol once absorbed in our intestines, unlike in meat, where retinol is directly present.
We can find the necessary dose of vitamin A in both portions of meat and vegetable foods.
Vegetable Sources of Carotenes
Carotenes are found in orange fruits and vegetables as well as green leafy vegetables.
The vegetables particularly rich in carotene – with which we obtain our daily dose are:
Sweet Potato (1096 µg/ 100g)
A single sweet potato is enough to meet 100% of our vitamin A needs. Pro tip: to get the most out of its vitamin content, cook it with the skin on! You can cook in the oven with a little fat.
Cooked Carrot (556 µg/100g) Raw Carrot (1381.67 µg/100g)
Carrots are one of the richest vegetables in beta-carotene (belonging to the carotene family). Its contribution varies according to the way it is cooked.
When consumed raw brings even more carotene to our bodies and even more when dehydrated (34000 µg for 100g).
Boiled Spinach (1113,33 µg/100g)
If many vegetables lose their vitamins during cooking, it is quite different for spinach, whose nutrients are, on the contrary, maximized by heat, except for vitamin C.
The antioxidant power of vitamin A is much more important when you boil spinach because it is then subjected to high temperatures.
And to promote the assimilation of vitamin A, don’t hesitate to add a little fresh cream or butter.
Animal Food Sources
The most powerful concentration of retinol in the diet is found in animals, which is the most important factor.
The most powerful concentration of retinol is found in offal. Here are some examples:
Turkey Giblets (10,737 µg /100g)
Turkey giblets are indeed an exceptional source of vitamin A. 100g contains far more than our recommended daily intake. You don’t need to eat too much to get the benefits!
Beef Liver (7,744 to 9,442 µg/100g)
Very rich in vitamin A, beef liver should preferably be consumed organically. This organ retains heavy metals and certain toxic products such as pesticides and medications.
Pro tip: For a healthier choice, try to choose meat that comes from small farms, not big industrial ones.
Chicken Offal (1 753 to 3 984 µg/100g)
Chicken offal is also very concentrated in vitamin A and, like its counterparts, this is a meat that is fairly low in fat and contains a significant amount of good cholesterol.
Some crustaceans contain a smaller dose and contribute to our daily intake, as can eggs, cheese, or butter.
Important: Pregnant women should eat offal in moderation because a very high concentration of vitamin A can lead to fetal malformations.
Beware of vitamin A-enriched medications to treat severe acne and other skin disorders. Even if the anti-inflammatory virtues of vitamin A are proven, a high dose can be toxic.
On the other hand, consuming beta-carotene in food does not present any risk because vitamin A is slowly transformed in the body.
Vitamin A Deficiency: Health Effects
Vitamin A deficiencies are manifested by several symptoms such as intestinal disorders, dry and cloudy corneas, and increased sensitivity to infections.
Remember to have regular blood tests to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A nutritional check-up can also be useful!
Vitamin A Overdose
Excessive vitamin A consumption causes hair loss, chapped lips, dry skin, weakened bones, headaches, elevated calcium levels in the blood, and a rare disorder characterized by increased pressure inside the skull, called idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
Vitamin A-related drugs (retinoids) are used to treat severe acne and psoriasis.
If you use them, beware because taking daily doses 10 times the RDI (recommended daily intake) or more for months can cause intoxication.
Consuming large amounts of carotenoids (which the body converts to vitamin A) in food does not cause intoxication because carotenoids are converted into vitamin A very slowly.
Generally, there are no symptoms. However, when large amounts of carotenoids are consumed, the skin can become yellowish (called carotenosis), especially on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Vitamin A Recommended Dosage
A food’s total vitamin A content is typically measured in micrograms (g) of retinol equivalents (RE).
Adult men should get 900 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A per day, while adult women should get 700 mcg.
Your food should provide you with all of the vitamin A you require.
Any vitamin A that your body does not require right now is saved for later use. This implies that you will not need it daily.
Vitamin A doses of 1.5mg or less per day from diet and supplements combined are unlikely to cause harm.
Maintaining healthy doses of vitamins in your body can be extremely beneficial for the overall health of your skin, and therefore prevent and help with flares of psoriasis.
Our skin is maintained by vitamins that promote healthy cell growth, cell renewal and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Supplements can be a great way to fill any gaps in our diet when purchased from reputable manufacturers and used correctly.
That said, it is recommended to improve your diet before resorting to supplements.