How does Vitamin A affect cancer?

Vitamin A and cancer

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble substance that provides several benefits to the human body. With many properties and uses, vitamin A is worthwhile to the body in many ways. Some of the most apparent advantages of consuming a vitamin A-rich diet are protection against declining eyesight, improved immune system, reduced inclination towards developing acne, and lower chances of developing several types of cancer. Continue reading ahead to find the top benefits of vitamin A, rich sources of vitamin A, and how it helps to combat the disease. Provitamin A carotenoids, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, are the inactive forms of the vitamin that are found in plants.

What are the top benefits of vitamin A?

Now that you know what vitamin A is, you must understand some of its top benefits. 

 

  • Vitamin A helps to fight several types of cancers. 

 

Since we are discussing how vitamin A can help in preventing and relieving cancer treatment side effects, you must note that it is the essential benefit of the same. Cancer begins when there is abnormal growth and multiplication of cells in any part of the human body. When the old cells do not die out or get replaced, they start building one on another. Since vitamin A plays a significant role in regulating cell growth, it has a direct impact on the development of cancer. If you consume high levels of beta-carotene, then you can protect yourself against several diseases such as cervical, lung, and bladder cancer. Always remember that vitamin A from plants is most effective in battling cancer. 

 

  • Vitamin A improves the human immune system. 

 

Everybody has a natural defense system that helps it to fight against foreign substances and invasions from bacteria and viruses. You would be surprised to learn that vitamin A is crucial for maintaining a proper immune system. Some of the most common body parts that are likely to attract and trap bacteria are eyes, lungs, gut, and genitals. There is a high chance of bacterial growth in these areas. As you must already be aware, the white blood cells in the human body have the role of fighting pathogens and diseases. So, vitamin A helps to produce sufficient numbers of WBCs in the bloodstream. Lack of vitamin A can lead to a compromised immune system and higher susceptibility to diseases such as malaria and measles. 

 

  • Vitamin A plays a significant role in improving bone health. 

 

Bone health is highly dependent on vitamin A. While most believe that only vitamin D and calcium are essential for healthy bones, what you must realize is that vitamin A helps in the development of the bone structure. It further receives nutrition and support from vitamin D. If someone has low vitamin A levels, they have a higher risk of suffering from bone fractures. Multiple debates are going on simultaneously regarding the role of vitamin A in healthy bones. Each day, researchers and cancer care providers are seeking ways to provide the best possible treatment options. 

 

  • Vitamin A is a staunch leader of healthy growth. 

 

As soon as a child is conceived, he needs nutrition for healthy growth and development. Thus, vitamin A is one such nutrient that every baby requires. It promotes the growth of many organs such as the unborn child’s skeleton, heart, kidneys, lungs, and more. An expectant mother must ensure to get a proper diet from the doctor and consult regarding the plan of action. Please note that lack of vitamin A and excess of vitamin A can be equally dangerous to the human body. It is crucial to regulate your vitamin A consumption.

What are some of the top sources of vitamin A?

Vitamin A is found in both plants and animals. But you must avoid meat at all costs because processed meat and red meat can lead to higher chances of prolonging cancer and its symptoms. Since red meat causes problems such as high cholesterol levels and unregulated fat and starch intake, plants are the best sources. A third option is to consume supplements, but you must always prefer natural sources first. Most of the marketed vitamin A supplements are synthetic and are of cheap quality.

The vitamin A found in plants is referred to as carotenoids. It needs to be converted into retinoids before the body can use it. Some top food items that have a high vitamin A content are sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks, and mozzarella cheese. Beta-carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables that are orange in color, such as carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangoes. Some green leafy vegetables, including collard greens, spinach, and kale, are also rich in beta-carotene. In short, you have a long list of vegetarian items to choose from and enjoy.