Vitamin A mainly comes from animal sources and the precursor form, beta-carotene (also known as provitamin A) is found in plants which typically have intense colors such as dark green leafy vegetables and brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. A fat-soluble vitamin dissolves and remains in the fatty tissues of the body, reducing the need to ingest large quantities. As such symptoms from a defiency in fat-soluble vitamins may not be apparent for years. They should not be consumed in excess unless under strict medical supervision since toxic reactions from fat-soluble vitamins occur at a smaller percentage of the RDA than water-soluble vitamins.
Beta-carotene has antioxidant properties which means it helps the body deal with unstable chemicals called free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the body when food is converted into energy and will build up in the body over time. They increase the potential for damage to the body cells (a process called oxidative stress) which is associated with the aging process and a general decline in the central nervous system and the immune system. They are also thought to contribute to the development of various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and inflammation conditions for example arthritis. Furthermore antioxidants can help to prevent the conversion of nitrates found in tobacco smoke, bacon, and some vegetables into cancer-causing substances.
|3D picture of Vitamin A (Retinol)|
Different forms or alternative names for Vitamin A (Retinol):
beta-carotene (provitamin A)
Importance of Vitamin A (Retinol):
assists body tissue growth and repair
promotes healthy skin
protects mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs
reduces susceptibility to infections
protects against air pollutants
counteracts night-blindness and weak eyesight
aids in bone and teeth formation
foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of lung cancer and certain oral cancers
Good sources of Vitamin A (Retinol) are:kale, liver, spinach, broccoli, carrots,
We have sorted our nutrition database by foods high in Vitamin A so you can easily see how much Vitamin A (Retinol) is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the Vitamin A (Retinol) content by food category.
Vitamin A (Retinol) content by food category:
Deficiency of Vitamin A (Retinol) may cause:
increased susceptibility to infections
rough, dry, scaly skin
loss of smell and appetite
defective teeth and gums
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin A (Retinol):
children 1-3 yrs 300 μg
children 4-8 yrs 400 μg
children 9-13 yrs 600 μg
Males 14-70+ yrs 900 μg
Females 14-70+ yrs 700 μg
Pregnancy 19-50 yrs 770 μg
Lactation 19-50 yrs 1300 μg
For further information on nutrients RDA see our complete list for recommended dietary allowance.