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Showing posts with label eyes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eyes. Show all posts

Oct 26, 2010

Key Functions of Vitamin A


Vitamin A can be very helpful in our life :

Maintenance of normal vision

  • Our eyes need vitamin A to function effectively as vitamin A is involved in the production of a chemical called visual purple, which helps us to see in dim light.
  •  Growth, repair and cell differentiation Vitamin A is necessary for the growth and repair of many body cells including those of bones, teeth, collagen and cartilage. 
  • It is also essential for a process known as cell differentiation in which un-specialised cells are modified so that they can perform specific functions. 
  • Thus vitamin A plays a central role in tissue development and maintenance. 

Health of epithelial cells

  •   Vitamin A is vital for the formation of healthy epithelial cells. 
  •   These cells cover the internal and external surfaces of the body and are found in the skin, lungs, developing teeth, inner ear, cornea of the eye, sex organs, glands and their ducts, gums, nose, cervix and other areas. 
  •    Many epithelial cells produce mucus which is necessary to lubricate body surfaces and protect against invading micro-organisms. For example, the good health of the digestive tract lining is important in protecting against ulcers, and maintenance of the lining of the vagina and uterus is important in fertility.

 Pregnancy and fetal development

Because of its vital role in cell development and differentiation, adequate vitamin A helps to ensure that the changes which occur in the cells and tissues during fetal development take place normally. It may be involved in cell to cell communication. 

Protection against infection  - 

Known as 'the anti-infective vitamin', vitamin A plays an essential role in protecting your body from infection. It keeps body surfaces healthy so they can act as barriers to invading micro-organisms. 
 
Vitamin A stimulates and enhances many immune functions including antibody response and the activity of various white blood cells such as T helper cells and phagocytes. This immune-enhancing function promotes healing of infected tissues and increases resistance to infection. 

Other actions

Laboratory experiments have shown vitamin A to have antiviral activity. Vitamin A also has antioxidant activity and has a role in protecting against free radical damage which contributes to many common diseases. Vitamin A is involved in iron metabolism and storage.

Absorption and metabolism

The presence of fat and bile in the intestines is necessary for vitamin A absorption. Around 80 to 90 per cent of vitamin A in the diet is absorbed, although this is reduced in older people and those who have trouble absorbing fat, such as pancreatitis, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis sufferers, who may run the risk of vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is joined to fatty acids in the intestinal lining, combined with other substances and transported to the liver, which stores 90 per cent of the body's vitamin A.

Aspects of deficiency.  

 Eyes

One of the first symptoms of deficiency is night blindness due to lack of visual purple. Prolonged deficiency leads to xerophthalmia, a condition in which eyes become dry, ulcers appear on the cornea, the eyelids become swollen and sticky, and which eventually leads to blindness. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading preventable cause of blindness in developing countries. 

Skin

Prolonged deficiency leads to thickened dry skin which is prone to infections. Small hardened bumps of a protein known as keratin may develop around the hair follicles. 

Growth

Deficiency causes growth retardation; weight loss; diarrhoea, thickening of bone shafts; congenital malformations; impaired hearing, taste and smell; wasting of testicles; and reduced sperm count. Inadequate vitamin A intake can lead to improper tooth formation in children and to gum disease. 

Immune system

Epithelial surfaces are adversely affected by vitamin A deficiency, causing increased susceptibility to skin and respiratory infections. 
Immune cells and antibody functions are also affected which may lead to an increase in pre-cancerous cells in the epithelial tissues of the mouth, throat and lungs. 
Many studies have shown that vitamin A deficiency is associated with increased risk of infection in developing countries.

HIV

Vitamin A deficiency is often seen in HIV-positive people and this may be due to metabolic changes associated with HIV infection. 
A 1995 study done on HIV-infected drug users in the US found that there was a higher risk of death in those with vitamin A deficiency. 
Vitamin A deficiency is often seen in HIV-positive pregnant women and severe deficiency increases infant mortality and the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. 

Thyroid gland -  

A deficiency of vitamin A can contribute to lower levels of active thyroid hormone with symptoms of low body temperature, depression, difficulty with weight loss, headaches and lethargy.

Cancer

Many studies suggest that high blood levels of vitamin A can help prevent certain forms of cancer, particularly cancers of epithelial tissue. This may be due to the importance of vitamin A in maintaining healthy epithelial cells, strengthening the immune system and stimulating the response to abnormal cells. Vitamin A deficiency may also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Lung cancer

Vitamin A-related compounds known as retinoids.  Of the six different types of retinoid receptors, three were found at lower levels in cancer cells. 
This studies have reflected the possibility that increasing dietary intake of vitamin A or taking supplements can be used to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Lung function

Vitamin A supplements may be useful in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Heart Disease

Low blood levels of vitamin A may be associated with the development of heart disease.

Arthritis

Vitamin A levels have also been found to be low in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus sufferers.

Leukoplakia

Vitamin A has also been shown to exert protective effects against leukoplakia, a pre-cancerous change in mucous membranes. It often occurs in the mouth and throat and is related to smoking.

Immunity

Adequate vitamin A intake, either from diet or supplements, is very important in boosting immunity and preventing sickness and death in children.  
Vitamin A eye drops have been used to treat eye problems including blurred vision, cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis and dry eyes. 
 
Other disorders for which vitamin A has been tried include asthma, sebaceous cysts, fibrocystic breast disease and premenstrual syndrome. Vitamin A may also be useful in the prevention of ulcers.

Oct 25, 2010

How To Care For Eyes


Contact lenses and glasses are a common phenomenon today among the old as well as the young. Reason? Eye problems. The truth is however, we can do something about this problem. And that is taking care of our eyes. Don’t shun this if you think that your perfect 20/20 vision is enough to make you feel complacent; protect your eyes from injury and infection is key to maintaining it.

Care of Eyes

Wearing Glasses

Sunglasses can help you protect your eyes from ultraviolet A and B radiation from the sun. this is due to the fact that over-exposure to ultraviolet light will normally cause eye damage especially by making cataracts appear on your eyes faster. Buy and wear sunglasses that are right, that is, those offering maximum UV shielding. Corrective sunglasses and contact lenses are also worth trying, but only after a doctor prescribe for you. In addition to care of eyes from radiation emanating from the sun, glasses are also important to prevent eye injuries. They should be worn while one is playing or working for this purpose, as some play and work items may cause permanent eye damage like baseball, racquetballs and pokes and any sharp objects in the garden that fly when hit especially metallic items like old nails rotting in your compound.

Reducing Glare

Glare or excessive light to your eyes is a major cause leading to eyestrain especially among computer users. You should therefore control the amount of light there’s in the room where you’re using a computer by drawing curtains or blinds for effective control of light levels through the entire period you are working on your computer. While at this, do avoid facing un-shaded window for the difference in brightness between the computer screen and the area behind it could bring about eye stress or discomfort. The most effective method of care of your eyes in this case is the use of an anti-glare screen on your computer. Also, avoid working in dimly lit rooms as this causes eyestrain. Right lighting will mostly make your reading and other close tasks easier.

Constantly Check the Contacts You’re Wearing

We blink less while working at a computer, as we concentrate more and more on the work we’re doing. For those using contact lenses, this is very stressful to their eyes as the long non-blinking faces many a time leads to the drying out of the contact lenses surface leading to much discomfort and loss of visual clarity. If this is your problem, you may find a solution in Acuvue Oasys – contact lenses that make your eyes feel more comfortable regardless of whether you stare at a computer or TV screen for prolonged periods.  As you do this, the best ergonomics at your computer desk depending on your visual capabilities and work tasks, by usually placing the screen five to nine inches below your horizontal line of sight making it easy to look just over the top of your computer monitor while seated in a straight-ahead gaze.

Allow yourself breaks from the computer screen as the eyes are not meant to stare at a close distance for long. You’ll thus reduce the visual stress by sometimes facing away from the screen. A good break is the one that 20/20/20 rule. That is to say, you take a 20-second break after every 20 minutes, while focusing your eyes on points that are 20 feet from your computer terminal. In a nutshell, keep roving your eyes as you look at objects at various distances.

Undergo Tests Regularly

If you’re diabetic, check on your sugar level as diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of blindness in the world. Have your blood pressure checked as retina vessels get significantly affected, sometimes leading to vision loss when you suffer from high blood pressure.

Quit smoking if you can since the over 400 chemicals in that single stick of cigarette aren’t good at all for your retina especially since they may clog it; but eat more fruits and vegetables  as these, especially green leafy vegetables, have lots of antioxidants that aid the retina ward off any harmful effects.

May 20, 2009

Seasonal Diet :


Seasonal Diet, Body and Skin Care
This section provides you with useful information on Seasonal care and tips and technics to maintain a healthy body and a healthy skin.

Skin care depends on various other factors of the body condition. Fruits and vegetables are having abundant sources of vitamins and minerals to keep your body fit and healthy.

A good skin can be achieved by ensuring that all natural elements required for it are given accordingly. Sunlight, water, fruits, milk and many other such things provide lot of value to skin

Treatment for eyes : Home remedies for puffed eyes and dark circles. Treat your eyes for a rejuvenated and refreshing appearance
Summer Care - Beat the heat with fruit juices: Juices of grapes, watermelon, banana, jack fruit, lemon and pineapple are essential during summer.
Summer Care - How to avoid Heat exhaustion: Avoid Heat Exhaustion by consuming lot of water and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Custard Apple - Health Benefits : Custard Apple or Sethaphal is a tropical fruit. .

Tips to treat tired eyes: Most computer users suffer from the problem of tired eyes, dark circles and headaches. Follow these ten tips to avoid them.

Treatment for low back pain: Low back pain is a common issue among computer surfers and bike riders. These are a few simple exercises which will help relieve low back pain.
Balance your spine - Stretch: Learn how to sit, stand, move and exercise in a balanced manner to reduce the neck and lower back pain to a great extent.
Healthy Habits: Healthy habits that can be followed in daily routine life. These habits will improve blood circulation in the body and also increases the energy levels.
Workplace Workouts: Keep yourself fresh and energetic during work hours. These simple and easy methods can be followed for complete relaxation of the entire body.
Tips and Technics to Treat your eyes: Most computer users suffer from the problem of tired eyes, dark circles and headaches. Follow these ten tips to avoid them.