Vitamin A Fattening?

Vitamin A Fattening? / Supplements

Many people who are taking or thinking about taking a supplement wonder if vitamin A gets fat, directly or indirectly. It is an essential vitamin for our body and many people do not consume it properly for food.

Vitamin A is an important nutrient in many respects for the proper functioning of the human body. For example, it helps the immune system protect the body from infection, collaborates with vision when light is weak, and participate in the development and maintenance of epithelial tissue.

But nutrient functions do not stop there. It is also involved in the processes of cellular reproduction and communication and is part of the composition of a protein called rhodopsin, which absorbs light through retinal receptors and helps the differentiation and proper functioning of corneas and conjunctiva membranes of the eyes.

  • See more: Benefits of Vitamin A - For what it is and sources.

In addition, vitamin A also contributes to cell growth and differentiation, which is critical for the formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Is vitamin A fattening? 

There are six essential nutrients that the body needs to have optimal health and nutrition - they are: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water.

Of these six, only three (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) provide calories to the body, which are described as the fuel used by the body so that it has energy.

Vitamins are not part of this group, so when they are ingested through eating, they do not provide calories. Therefore, from this aspect, it is not possible to say that vitamin A is fattening.

But what about the use of multivitamins and vitamin A supplements?

For people who can not get the nutrient through their usual diet and decide to use multivitamins to provide adequate amounts of vitamin A to their body?

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Can weight gain occur in this case? Again, the answer is no. This is because what a multivitamin does is to supply the deficiencies of vitamins that the body possesses.

In addition, most multivitamins are not made up of sugar or calories, have basically only vitamins and minerals, and do not affect appetite. Thus, the use of a vitamin A supplement is not expected to result in weight gain. In addition, vitamin A will not stimulate your appetite or any other indirect mechanism sufficient to make you fat.

So if you consume the nutrient through multivitamins and realized that you have gained weight, it is worth giving a look at the lifestyle to see if this can not be associated with a low-quality diet with lots of treats and calories, and / or to a sedentary life.

To be sure of what actually led to weight gain, it's worth consulting with a doctor.

Regarding the use of multivitamins, the American Association of Family Physicians indicates that the best way to get the vitamins is still through food, since in this way they are more easily absorbed.

However, so-called vitamin supplements may be indicated for vegans, vegetarians, people who consume less than 1,600 calories per day, pregnant women and people who have health problems that prevent proper absorption of some nutrients, the Mayo Clinic reported.

Does the absence of vitamin A get fatter?

We have already understood that the presence of the nutrient in the body does not cause weight gain. But is vitamin A deficiency fattening? According to a 2015 publication, a survey published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, free translation) indicated that there may be a relationship between a person's weight and the amount of vitamins and minerals it consumes.

  • See more: Vitamin A deficiency - Symptoms, causes, sources and tips.

The researchers looked at responses from more than 18,000 Americans who participated in a nutrition study and found that compared to normal-weight obese adults, they had a 5-12% lower intake than all micronutrients.

20% of the more obese adults who participated in the study had, in particular, deficiency of vitamin A, in addition to other nutrients such as vitamin C and magnesium. One explanation for the lack of nutrients in these people is that individuals who weigh more tend to eat less nutritious foods.

But another hypothesis raised by the authors of the study is that inappropriate intake of nutrients may contribute to obesity.Vitamin A is associated with the regulation of adipose (fat) cells and the hormones they release, and may play a role in maintaining a healthy weight.

So if you want to lose weight, in addition to cutting calories, ideally follow a diet that allows you to get adequate amounts of vitamin A and other nutrients.

Other Dangers of Vitamin A Deficiency 

The absence of the nutrient can cause health problems such as night blindness, increased chances of developing infectious diseases, goiter - enlarged thyroid gland volume - and follicular hyperkeratosis, a type of skin structure that leaves it dry, scaly and rough , due to excessive production of keratin in the hair follicles.

Having nutrient deficiency can also affect the mobilization of iron, impair the production of hemoglobin - the red blood cell protein, which carries oxygen from the lung to the rest of the body - and stimulate the onset of iron deficiency anemia, which is caused by the low levels of iron in the body.

The absence of the vitamin in the body can also cause the severity of problems such as diarrhea and respiratory infections, hardening of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary tract, decreased smell and taste, dryness of the cornea and whites of the eyes, inflammation of the skin and stress.

In children, nutrient deficiency is dangerous because it impairs growth and development, is associated with an increased risk of infant mortality, and can cause irreversible blindness.

How much vitamin A do I need daily? 

The following table indicates the daily amount of vitamin A that different profiles of people need to ingest every day:

Newborns (0 to 6 months)400 mcg (micrograms) / 1331 international units (IU)400 mcg / 1331 IU
Babies (7 to 12 months)500 mcg / 1667 IU500 mcg / 1667 IU
Children (1 to 3 years)300 mcg / 1000 IU300 mcg / 1000 IU
Children (4 to 8 years)400 mcg / 1333 IU400 mcg / 1333 IU
Children (9-13 years old)600 mcg / 2000 IU600 mcg / 2000 IU
Adolescents (14 to 18 years)900 mcg / 3000 IU700 mcg / 2333 IU
Adults (over 19 years)900 mcg / 3000 IU700 mcg / 2333 IU
Pregnant (less than 18 years)750 mcg / 2500 IU
Pregnant (over 19 years)770 mcg / 2567 IU
Infants (less than 18 years)1200 mcg / 4000 IU
Infants (over 19 years)1300 mcg / 4333 IU

Source: Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) - Institute of Medicine, 2001 via My Life

With information from Oregon State University, the United Kingdom National Health Service and the United States National Institutes of Health.

Do you believe that you consume the correct amount of vitamin A daily? Which food sources of vitamin are your favorite? Comment below!