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Vitamin A


Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and retinyl esters.

Vitamin A is important for immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication.

Vitamin A is critical for vision as an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that absorbs light in the retinal receptors, and because it supports the normal differentiation and functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea.

Vitamin A also supports cell growth and differentiation, playing a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.

Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet: preformed vitamin A (retinol and its esterified form, retinyl ester) and provitamin A carotenoids.

Preformed vitamin A is found in foods from animal sources, including dairy products, fish, and meat (especially liver). By far the most important provitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene; other provitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A.

References

Life Extension Foundation: Scientific Abstracts: Comprehensive Nutrient Review: 249 Vitamin A Research Abstracts

Ref: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/

Fri May 19 12:17:44 CDT 2006




 

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rm Last modified: 06/01/06

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