We all need to have a little more Vitamin A & C in our life...
Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids*, including retinol*, retinal*, and retinyl esters*. Vitamin A is involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. Vitamin A is critical for vision as an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that absorbs light in the retinal receptors, and because it supports the normal differentiation and functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea. Vitamin A also supports cell growth and differentiation, playing a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.
Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet:
1. Vitamin A is found in foods from animal sources, including dairy, fish, and meat (especially liver).
2. The body converts plant pigments into vitamin A.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component.
Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters; vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism. Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing. Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including vitamin E. Ongoing research is examining whether vitamin C, by limiting the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role. Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, (form of iron present in plant-based foods). Insufficient vitamin C intake causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue or lassitude, widespread connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.
*retinoids - any of a group of substances related to vitamin A and functioning like vitamin A in the body.
*retinol - a yellow compound found in green and yellow vegetables, egg yolk, and fish-liver oil. It is essential for growth and for vision in dim light.
*retinyl esters - the most abundant retinoid forms present in the body.