Vitamins

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 : regulates the growth of epidermis cells and the production of sebum. Vitamin A helps fight seborrhoea and the 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).

 

Natural sources

Rich sources of Vitamin A include fish oil, liver, egg and diary products. 

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