Vitamin A And Its Functions

Vitamin A is a vitamin that is soluble in fats in it is present in a variety of foods. Vitamin A is necessary for good vision, proper immune system functioning and reproduction. It is also important for the proper functioning of many organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart.

There are two kinds of vitamin A. First there is Vitamin A that is preformed and it can be found in dairy products, fish, poultry, and meats. Another type of vitamin A is provitamin A. Provitamin A is found in vegetables, fruits, and other sources that are plant based. Beta-carotene is the most commonly occurring kind of provitamin A that can be found in supplemental vitamins and foods.

What Quantity Of Vitamin A Does Your Body Require?

Vitamin A Benefits

vitamin a benefits

The quantity of vitamin A that your body requires will be dependent upon your reproductive status and age. For people that are fourteen years of age and older the requirement is between seven hundred and nine hundred micrograms of RAE or retinol activity equivalents daily. For females that are nursing, the daily requirement is about 1200 RAE. For those less than fourteen years, lower amounts are recommended.

The vitamin A content in dietary supplements and foods is provided on labels in terms of IU or international units and not in terms of micrograms RAE. The conversion between IU and micrograms RAE is not straightforward. A diet that is varied and contains 900 micrograms RAE, for instance, will provide a person between 3200 and 35000 vitamin A IU, dependent on the particular foods that were consumed.

Almost all scientists and nutritionist will use the RAE measurement, however, food and vitamin labels still use IU. For children older than four years and adults, the U.S. FDA has a recommended vitamin A daily intake of 5000 IU. This intake should be obtained from a diet that has both animal and plant sources. This value does not vary between sex and age but it can be a useful measure when attempting to ensure adequate vitamin A intake.

Which Foods Contain Vitamin A?

Vitamin A occurs naturally in a variety of foods and it is an additive in some, such as cereals and milk. You can obtain recommended quantities of vitamin A by consuming a variety of food types. Here are some examples of vitamin A containing foods.

  • Organ meats including beef liver contain a high concentration of vitamin A, but they also have a high cholesterol content.
  • Salmon and other kinds of fish.
  • Fruits like mangos, apricots, and cantaloupes.
  • Many types of vegetables such as broccoli, squash, carrots, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Dairy products.
  • Breakfast cereals that are fortified.

What Types Of Vitamin A Supplements Are Available?

Vitamin A supplements are normally retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate for preformed vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the most common form of provitamin A. Sometimes a combination of preformed and provitamin A are sold. The majority of multivitamin supplements has vitamin A in them. Vitamins that only have vitamin A in them are also available. Additional information is available at vitamin a article.

Am I Getting Adequate Vitamin A In My Diet?

Vitamin A deficiency in North America is rare. However, in some parts of the world it is a problem. There are some groups that have problems ingesting enough vitamin A including premature infants, pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding in developing nations.

What Are They Symptoms Of Vitamin A Deficiency?

Vitamin A deficiency commonly occurs in developing nations. The most common affliction associated with vitamin A deficiency is called xerophthalmia. Xerophthalmia is a disorder of the eyes and it is an inability to view things when there is a low level of light. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

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