There is good reason why vitamin A (retinol) is called the eye vitamin: it is essential for good vision. Vitamin A has also proven its worth in eye ointments for the treatment of dry eyes.
Vitamin A: good for your eyes
From a chemical viewpoint, vitamin A belongs to the carotenoids. These are reddish yellow pigments which are naturally present in plants, animals and dairy products. Humans ingest the vitamin in food, either in its preliminary stage, provitamin A, from vegetables like carrots or peppers, or directly as vitamin A from dairy and meat products. The human intestine converts provitamin A into vitamin A.
The functions of vitamin A in the body are numerous. It is needed for bone growth, for reproductsion as well as for healthy skin. In the eye, rhodopsin (visual purple), which is essential and therefore indispensable for the visual process, is built up from vitamin A. When light touches the photoreceptors of the retina, rhodopsin launches a signal transmission at the end of which, the brain recognises what has been viewed. A lack of vitamin A therefore also has effects on vision. Night blindness and visual disorders can be the first symptoms of a possible vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is also a natural component in the tear film.
Vitamin A in foodstuffs
Vitamin A must be ingested regularly in the diet so that no symptoms of deficiency occur. The following foodstuffs contain particularly high amounts of this vitamin:
- Dairy products
Tip: vitamin A is fat-soluble. This means that the body can only absorb it together with fat. Therefore, you should always enrich your lettuce with a drop of oil.