What is Vitamin A and How is it Classified?

Vitamins are organic substances that are generally classified as fat-soluble or water-soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins

(vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K) dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body.

Water-soluble vitamins

(vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate) must dissolve in water before they can be absorbed by the body and therefore cannot be stored. Any water-soluble vitamin not used by the body is lost primarily through urine.

Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble compounds known collectively as retinoids. It is not a single compound, but rather a collection of compounds that are stored in adipose tissues. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, growth, and development. It also helps to maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes.

Vitamin A can be obtained from preformed sources such as animal products like eggs, dairy products, and liver. It can also be obtained from plant sources such as fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids, which are converted to vitamin A in the body. Early signs of vitamin A deficiency may include changes in the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, and respiratory and genitourinary tracts. Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but it can cause muscle weakness, susceptibility to infections, neurological problems, and poor vision.

Vitamin A toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis A, occurs when too much vitamin A builds up in the body. Fortunately, vitamin K deficiency is rare, as the body only needs small amounts to maintain blood clotting. Vitamin D can be produced by the body if you regularly expose large parts of your skin to sunlight. UNICEF believes that addressing vitamin A deficiency is essential to reducing child mortality, the fourth of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

To prevent deficiency diseases, researchers have determined the specific amounts of vitamins needed for optimal health. In conclusion, vitamins are classified by their solubility or ability to dissolve in another substance. Fat-soluble vitamins are those that dissolve in fat and can be stored within fat for later use. Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain healthy vision, growth, and development.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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