Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. Two forms of vitamin A are present in the human diet.
- Preformed vitamin A (retinol and its esterified form, present in food from animal sources such as dairy products, fish, and meat (especially liver).
- Provitamin A carotenoids. Provitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene.
These plant pigments are converted into vitamin A through the human body. Both vitamins from animals and plant sources must be metabolized intracellularly to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of vitamin A, to support the vitamin’s essential functions in the human body.
Vitamin A and night blindness
Consumption of adequate vitamin A reduces the risk of night blindness and may reduce the age-related decline of eyesight.
Lower the risk of specific cancer
Consumption of vitamin A in higher amounts in beta-carotene lowers the risk of many types of cancer, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cervical, lung, and bladder cancer.
Healthy immune system
Vitamin A plays a significant role in maintaining the body’s natural defense system. This includes the mucous barriers in your eyes, lungs, gut, and genitals which help trap bacteria and other infectious agents. Vitamin A help in the production and function of white blood cells, which may help capture and protect bacteria and other pathogens in the blood.
Promote healthy growth
Vitamin A plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy reproductive system in both males and females; due to adequate vitamins, average growth and development of embryos are also ensured during pregnancy.
Vitamin A rich food
The best sources of vitamin A are cod liver oil, apricots, bell peppers, grapefruits, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato, mangoes, and eggs. Other sources of beta-carotene such as broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables.
RDA of vitamin A
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin A is 900 mcg for men and 700 mcg for women.
Vitamin A rich smoothie
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 3 cups spinach packed
- 1 cup whole frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Add all ingredients spinach, banana, strawberry pineapple, almond milk, and chia seeds. Blend until smooth.
- Calories 286
- Fat 8g
- Carbs 53g
- Protein 8g
- Vitamin A 8515%
- Vitamin C 140%
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- Ross A. Vitamin A and Carotenoids. In: Shils M, Shike M, Ross A, Caballero B, Cousins R, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006:351-75.
- Solomons NW. Vitamin A. In: Bowman B, Russell R, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 9th ed. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute; 2006:157-83.
- Sommer A. Nutritional blindness: xerophthalmia and keratomalacia. New York: Oxford University Press; 1982.