Also known as: Retinol
Vitamin A has multiple functions, it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system, maintenance of healthy skin cells and good vision. As a result, Vitamin A is added almost universally to pet foods. Plants contain a series of provitamin A (α, β, and γ-carotenes), the most biologically active being beta-carotene.
A little background information
Vitamin A is fat-soluble and absorbed in the small intestine and transferred to the liver via the lymphatic system. Unlike dogs, cats require preformed vitamin A because they lack the essential enzyme required to cleave beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Its role in the body
- Vision: adaptation to darkness.
- Reproduction: synthesis of certain hormones.
- Metabolism: synthesis of proteins.
- Skin and hair: regulate the growth of epidermis cells and the production of sebum. Vitamin A helps fight seborrhoea and dandruff that often forms after pruritus. It acts in synergy with zinc and sulphur amino acids.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause:
- eye problems (reduced night vision, opacification of the cornea, dryness of the conjunctiva) ;
- skin problems (dry skin, atrophy of the sebaceous glands);
- reproduction anomalies;
- greater sensitivity to infections and pulmonary complications.
An excess of vitamin A is also harmful to the body (joint problems, reproduction problems).
Rich sources of Vitamin A include fish oil, liver, egg and dairy products.
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La vitamine A
Les différentes formes de la vitamine A (rétinol/rétinal) jouent un rôle dans la synthèse des pigments rétiniens nécessaires à la perception des couleurs (iodopsine des cônes) et à la vision dans l’obscurité (rhodopsine des bâtonnets).