Emblem for Skin Support Meeting Vitamin A Requirments for Skin Health Module

Executive Summary

Increasing intake of Vitamin A rich vegetables such as carrots can help improve the skin’s resistance to oxidative damage and help balance abnormal sebum production.

Introduction

Vitamin A is a generic term which is used to describe various molecules which display the biological activity of retinol (precursor of retinoids).

The two main forms of Vitamin A present in food are pro-vitamin A (most commonly beta-carotene) which comes from plant-based foods and preformed Vitamin A which comes from animal products.

Vegetable sources of Vitamin A (specifically carotenoids) have been shown to have superior antioxidant activity [1] and play a critical role in skin health [2, 3]

Some of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin A include:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash (butternut or winter)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

Documented Benefits:

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient and is required for [4]:

  • Healthy cellular growth
  • Stable immune function
  • Blood lipid regulation
  • Maintenance of mucous secretion

Diets rich in carotenoids have been shown to [5]:

  • Enhanced immune system function
  • Decreased risk of regenerative disease (cancer, cardiovascular disease and cataract formation)
  • Potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Why It’s Important for Inflammatory Skin Disease

Characteristics most important for individuals affected by inflammatory skin disorders:

  • Oxidative damage protection [6]
  • Sebaceous gland activity regulation [7]

Expected improvements:

  • Reduced free radical damage to skin cells
  • Balanced sebum production

Ideas for Easier Integration:

Eating vegetables which are orange in color is an easy way to select vegetables high in Vitamin A and the most common choice is carrots.

If you choose carrots for your primary source of Vitamin A, preparing (peeling and chopping) several carrots the night before will make it much easier to meet your daily objective.

Additional Notes:

  • Serum Vitamin A levels have one of the most clear cut impacts on sebum production and skin surface pH [8]
  • You could potentially consume too much Vitamin A, but the risk is primarily limited to animal sources [9]. This is because the body controls the amount of pro-vitamin A it converts to the active form [10].
  • Fish and eggs are also high in Vitamin A, but this objective focuses on vegetable
  • Don’t spend too much time focusing on specific measurements and percentages (IU)

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