More About Vitamin A
What is vitamin A?
Vitamin A is actually a group of fat-soluble retinoids and carotenoids, chemical compounds that are a part of, or chemically related to, vitamin A. There are two types of vitamin A found in our diet – preformed vitamin retinoids (also known as retinol and its esterified form, retinyl ester) and provitamin A carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and others).
Why is vitamin A important for my health?
Vitamin A is important for numerous body functions including normal visual function, immune system health, healthy bones and teeth, and healthy skin. Our bodies need vitamin A to utilize protein. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage.
Are beta-carotene and vitamin A the same thing?
Beta-carotene is classified as a carotenoid, which is in the vitamin A family. Carotenoids are organic pigments that are found in plants and fruits. Once ingested, beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A in the liver. Beta-carotene is only converted to vitamin A as needed by the body, making it a safe source.
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