Saturday, 27 October 2018

Meaning, Functions and Sources of Vitamin A

Vitamins are a type of organic compounds which are essential for growth and maintenance of good health.These are required in very small amounts but our body cannot synthesise most of them.Hence intake of vitamins in food is essential.Deficiency of vitamins leads to many deficiency diseases.Vitamins are regulatory substances and each vitamin has a specific function.These are also known as life saving substances. So in this we are going to talk about Meaning, Functions and Sources of Vitamin A.

Meaning, Functions and Sources of Vitamin A

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Meaning of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is soluble in fats, which is stable towards heat but gets destroyed in light. It is found in pure form in animal foods. In vegetable foods it is present as a precursor in the form of carotene. Four microgram of B carotene gets converted into 1pgm of vitamin A in the body.

Functions of vitamin A

Following are the funtions of Vitamin A are as fallow:

(i) For normal eyesight

Vitamin A helps in the proper functioning of eyes. We can see in dim light with the help of vitamin A. It protects us from various eye diseases.

(ii) Protects from infectious diseases

The upper layer of skin and the internal layer of eyes, intestines, lungs etc. are made up of epithelial cells. Vitamin A helps in keeping them healthy. These layers secrete antibacterial secretions which protect the body from various infectious diseases.

(iii) For normal growth

Vitamin A is essential for the growth of bones and teeth.

(iv) For healthy skin

Vitamin A keeps the skin healthy. Its deficiency leads to dry and rough skin.

(v) For development of foetus

Vitamin A helps in reproduction as it is essential for the normal development of foetus.

Sources of vitamin A

There are two sources of Vitamin A are as:

1. Animal
2. Vegetables

1. Animal sources of vitamin A

Animal sources of vitamin A are milk, curd, butter, ghee, cod-liver oil, yolk of egg, liver, etc.

2. Vegetable sources of vitamin A

In vegetable sources vitamin A is in the form of carotene and is obtained from green leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves, mint, amaranth leaves, radish leaves, etc. and yellow fruits and vegetables like carrot, mango, papaya, apricot, pumpkin, etc.

Requirement of vitamin A varies with age and condition (pregnancy, lactation, etc) of a person. It is measured in I.U. or in pgms.

So these are the Meaning, Functions and Sources of Vitamin A.

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