Vitamin A is stored in the body.
More Info: Once ingested or converted, Vitamin A is stored in the human liver until it is needed. Along with promoting growth, bone development, and proper retina vision, Vitamin A also helps maintain the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. Without the necessary levels of Vitamin A, respiratory, digestive, and even urinary infections can become more commonplace. [“Vitamin A”, American Cancer Society]
Where to Get Vitamin A
There are two ways that Vitamin A is ingested into the human body. The first is by the consumption of animal food sources that contain Vitamin A such as egg yolks, fish oils, and dairy products. The other comes from eating fruits or vegetables that contain Beta Carotene, which is then converted by the small human intestine into retinol. Among the fruits and vegetables in this group are carrots, broccoli, peaches, and apricots.
Vitamin A Deficiency
A much larger concern with regards to the normal, proper ingestion of Vitamin A by the human body is the fact that in many parts of the world, there is a great deficiency of standard, healthy levels tied to poor diet and other factors. Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is the leading cause of preventable blindness among children and can lead to a 23% higher likelihood of young people dying from diseases such as malaria and the measles. Currently, the highest prevalence of VAD among pre-school age children is found in countries of sub-Sahara Africa and Southeast Asia. [“Vitamin A Deficiency, Statistics by Area”, UNICEF]
A Look at Topical Vitamin A
At the other end of the Vitamin A spectrum, concern has grown about its use in sunscreen products. Even though 41% of sunscreen products contain a variant known as retinyl palmitate, the data of government and other monitoring bodies suggests that when exposed to sunlight, this Vitamin A form may increase the likelihood of skin lesions and tumors. The FDA/NTP study found that the tumors and lesions developed 21% sooner on animals that had been coated with a Vitamin A solution. [“Vitamin A Data Hits a Nerve in the Sunscreen Industry” Environmental Working Group]
American Cancer Society – Vitamin A, Retrieved September 26, 2010 from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/vitamin-a-and-beta-carotene
Environmental Working Group – “Vitamin A Data Hits a Nerve in the Sunscreen Industry”, August 2010, Retrieved September 26, 2010 from http://www.ewg.org/Vitamin-A-Data-Hits-Nerve-in-the-Sunscreen-Industry
UNICEF – Vitamin A Deficiency, Statistics by Area, Retrieved September 26, 2010 from http://www.childinfo.org/vitamina.html