Vitamin A is important for a lot more than whether our eyes adjust to the darkness or not. It plays a crucial role in protecting at least three of our senses; it is absolutely necessary if we´re to fight off infections; and it promises to be of great benefit in battling skin problems, abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding and cancer.
Vitamin A´s chemical name, retinol, is derived from its function in eyesight. A healthy retina must contain a minimum amount of vitamin A because the vitamin actively participates in the chemical process by which light stimulates the rods and cones into sending sight messages to the brain.
More than the eyes depend on vitamin A, the layers of tissue covering an organ or an entire organism (such as the skin or mucous membranes), depend on vitamin A for healthy structure and function. Vitamin A is also required for the proper growth and maintenance of the bones and teeth.
Vitamin A is also necessary for the proper structure and function of the adrenal glands, which control our response to stress.