Apr 14 2011

What is vitamin A?

Category: Health & Beauty


Vitamin A FoodsVitamin A (also known as retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that influences a number of functions in the human body. It is found in a variety of animal and dairy products like liver, eggs, fish, shellfish, and milk as well as fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta carotene like carrots, apricots, peaches, spinach, squash, broccoli, kale and cabbage. Foods that contain beta-carotene are converted to vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that typically will go unnoticed until there is a deficiency; it will often assist with the following human functions including:

  • The reproduction of cells (growth and development).
  • Vision, including specific structures of the eye.
  • The preservation of healthy skin, bones, and teeth.
  • Supporting the immune system (antioxidants).
  • Healthy reproductive functioning.

The Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA for vitamin A is expressed in terms of retinol activity equivalents (RAE), which represent vitamin A activity as retinol. The U.S. recommendation for adult women is 700 micrograms (mcg) RAE or 2,333 IU per day. For men it is 900 micrograms (mcg) RAE or 3,000 IU. These amounts are often less for children and women who are pregnant.

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