Vitamin A is an antioxidant in the membranes of your cells where it serves a protective function. Every day you lose some vitamin A, because it is used in the replacement of old tissues.
Vitamin A is required by the eye for vision and it is also needed to protect the rest of your body from damaging effects of infection and stress.
Lipid peroxides indicate damage to cell membranes from oxidation. 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine measures the oxidative impact to DNA.
The lipid peroxide and 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine levels will be high if your total antioxidant protection is inadequate. If these markers are high and vitamin A is normal, then either you need other specific antioxidants or you have a high rate of free radical oxidant production.
- Alpha-tocopherol (body's main form of vitamin E) functions as an antioxidant, regulates cell signaling, influences immune function and inhibits coagulation.
- Deficiency may occur with malabsorption, cholestyramine, colestipol, isoniazid, orlistat, olestra and certain anti-convulsants (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin).
- Deficiency may result in peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, muscle weakness, retinopathy, and increased risk of CVD, prostate cancer and cataracts.
- Food sources include oils (olive, soy, corn, canola, safflower, sunflower), eggs, nuts, seeds, spinach, carrots, avocado, dark leafy greens and wheat germ.
Too much vitamin A can be dangerous, particularly during pregnancy. If your levels are too high, the recommended intake range will be zero. Betacarotene, which also protects tissue, is converted by your body to vitamin A on an as-needed basis. Supplementation with beta-carotene is a safer alternative than vitamin A.
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