Vitamin A & its chief function including male & female reproduction.






Vitamin A is one of the first vitamins to be recognized and forms part of the group of four vitamins that are considered fat-soluble. (Sizer and Whitney, 2017, pg. 244)


There are three forms of Vitamin A that are active in the body that are obtained in two forms:


Preformed Vitamin A – the active form of the vitamin, which can be used as is by your body found in animal sources.


· Retinol

· Retinyl ester


Provitamin A – the inactive form of the vitamin, which can be found in plant based sources.


· Beta-carotenoid


In order to support biologic processes, both preformed Vitamin A and provitamin A must be converted to :


· Retinal

· Retinoic acid

( Chea & Milstein, 2018,n.p.)


Roles of Vitamin A


Vitamin A is needed everywhere due to its chief functions. One of which is of critical importance for both male and female reproductive health among many others:


· Eyesight

· Night blindness

· Bone health

· Acne

· Gene regulation

· Cell recognition

· Immune Function

· Reproduction and growth

· Bumpy skin

· Infertility issues

· Gene regulation


Many animal studies have been linked to the importance of vitamin A in both female and male reproduction.


Clagette-Dame and Knutson (2011) found that “Recent work supports the conclusion that the vitamin A metabolite, RA [retinoic acid], is needed both for adult male spermatogonial differentiation (transition to A1) and the entrance into meiosis resulting in infertility”.


In addition, same animal studies have found that female reproduction is also being affected by Vitamin A deficiency affecting egg implantation. (Clagette-Dame and Knutson ,2011, n.p.)


Food Sources to help you up your Vitamin A game:


· Liver

· Heart

· kidney,

· milk

· codliver oils

· fish liver oils

· butter

· eggs

· carrots

· cabbage

· vegetables

· green leaves

· mangoes

· potatoes tomatoes

· spinach

· papaya

(Divya et al., 2015, pg. 2)


References:


Chea EP, Milstein H. Vitamin A. [Updated 2018 Oct 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482362/

Clagett-Dame, M., & Knutson, D. (2011). Vitamin A in reproduction and development. Nutrients, 3(4), 385–428. doi:10.3390/nu3040385


Divya, M. S., & Narotham, S. R. (2015). Role of Diet in Dermatological Conditions. Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences,05(05). doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000400


Sizer, F., & Whitney, E. (2019). NUTRITION: Concepts and controversies(14th ed.). Place of publication not identified: CENGAGE LEARNING.



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Scarleth Castro,BA Nutritionist, Health & Fitness Educator

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