Saturday, May 29, 2010

Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin: Vitamin A Foods for Anti Aging

As per a study published in the American Journal of Dermatology about a decade ago, women participants were treated with tropical application of Vitamin A on appearance of cellulite. After six months of the treatment, it was observed that there was a 10.7% improvement in the elasticity of the skin and about 15% improvement in the viscosity. This study has pointed towards the benefits of use of Vitamin A in management of a host of skin ailments and reversing the visible signs of aging. This article provides information about the various natural sources of Vitamin A and the benefits of Vitamin A in fighting Aging 

What is Vitamin A? Vitamin A Deficiency and Skin

Vitamin A Deficiency
can lead to Dry Skin and
 Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that plays a pivotal role in human growth and development. Vitamin A plays a vital role in ensuring healthy eyesight, however its contribution in maintaining healthy structure of the skin in equally important. There are certain conditions which can result in Vitamin A deficiency which include,
  • Diet: A diet low in natural sources of vitamins is considered to result in Vitamin A deficiency. Animal food sources are loaded with Vitamin A and hence vegetarian diet increases the risk of Vitamin A shortage
  • Iron Deficiency is another cause for Vitamin A deficiency. Iron deficiency affects the natural uptake of Vitamin A, even though normal amounts of Vitamin A are consumed in the diet.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol results in liver damage, which in turn can result in Vitamin A deficiency
  • Conditions like pancreatitis, biliary obstruction, cystic fibrosis, irritable bowel disorder and Crohn's disease can result in malabsorption of the essential vitamin resulting in deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency can be manifested in a host of different ways, however the common skin symptoms include,
  • Dry Skin with keratosis and thickening of the skin
  • Increased skin infections in the form of boils, acne, impetigo and cold sores
  • Increased risk of skin overgrowths like warts and moles
  • Wrinkled and premature aging of the skin
  • Dry hair with loss of lusture and split ends
Benefits of Vitamin A: Anti-Aging Treatment
Excessive exposure to the sun is considered to be primarily responsible for aging. Vitamin A is stored in the skin in the form of Retinyl Ester. Retinyl Esters contribute significantly by protecting the skin against ultraviolet damage, by absorbing ultraviolet radiation in the range of 300 to 350 nm, a wavelength range which is usually received on the surface of the earth. Further, Vitamin A has strong anti oxidant properties which prevent damage caused to the DNA of the skin tissue by free radicals.

Vitamin A also plays a vital role in development of collagen in the skin tissue. Vitamin A helps improve the collagen content in the skin which offers it with greater elasticity and improves the viscosity of the skin significantly.

Studies have shown that local application of Vitamin A is considered to have lower toxicity compared to use of Vitamin A supplements internally. Local application of Vitamin A hence is beneficial in averting the signs of aging and considered to be an effective anti-aging agent.

Natural Food Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A Foods: Natural Sources of Vitamin A
Excellent sources of vitamin A are :
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, fenugreek, collards)
  • Carrots
  • Papayas
  • Mangoes
  • Broccoli
  • Melons and Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Dried apricots
  • Bell peppers
  • Parsley
  • Animal Liver, Chicken and Meat are considered to be a great sources of Vitamin A, however, excessive consumption is associated with increased risk of Vitamin A toxicity, which is why consumption of vegetarian food sources is recommended. 

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