Week 15- Blog Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in healthy vision, body growth, immune function and reproductive health. Getting adequate amounts of vitamin A from your diet should prevent the symptoms of deficiency, which include hair loss, skin problems, dry eyes, night blindness and increased susceptibility to infections. Though vitamin A is often considered a singular nutrient, it’s really the name for a group of fat-soluble compounds. There are two forms of vitamin A found in food.

1.      Preformed vitamin A — retinol and retinyl esters — occurs exclusively in animal products, such as dairy, liver and fish,

2.      Provitamin A carotenoids are abundant in plant foods like fruits, vegetables and oils.

To use them, your body must convert both forms of vitamin A to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of the vitamin. vitamin A is fat soluble, it’s stored in body tissue for later use. Most of the vitamin A in your body is kept in your liver in the form of retinyl esters. These esters are then broken down into all-trans-retinol, which binds to retinol binding protein (RBP). It then enters your bloodstream, at which point your body can use it. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a#what-it-is

- One of the primary functions of vitamin A is its role in vision and eye health. I t also helps protect and maintain the cornea — the outermost layer of your eye — and the conjunctiva — a thin membrane that covers the surface of your eye and inside of your eyelids.

- vitamin A helps maintain surface tissues such as your skin, intestines, lungs, bladder and inner ear.

- It supports immune function by supporting the growth and distribution of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that protects your body from infection.

-vitamin A supports male and female reproduction and fetal development.


There are many dietary sources of both preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids.

Foods highest in preformed vitamin A are: Animal Foods-Egg yolks, Beef liver, Liverwurst, Butter, Cod liver oil, Chicken liver, Salmon, Cheddar cheese, Liver sausage, King mackerel, Trout.

Foods high in provitamin A carotenoids like beta-carotene include: plant foods-sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, Carrots, Kale, Spinach, Dandelion greens, Cabbage, Red peppers, Collard greens, parsley, Butternut squash.

10 Fruits High in Provitamin A

Provitamin A is generally more abundant in vegetables than fruits. But a few types of fruit provide good amounts.  Mango, Cantaloupe, Pink or Red Grapefruit, Watermelon, Papaya, Apricot, Tangerine, Nectarine, Guava, Passion Fruit.

2 best sources of Vitamin A-

Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces     6,582Micrograms (mcg) RAE per serving               731 Percent DV*

Sweet potato, baked in skin, 1 whole       1,403Micrograms (mcg) RAE per serving   156 Percent DV*

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) levels for vitamin A are 900 mcg daily for men and 700 mcg daily for women. For women who are pregnant, the RDA is 770 mcg daily. For women who are breast-feeding, the RDA is 1,300 mcg daily.

The tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin A is 10,000 units (3,000 mcg) daily. The UL is the highest level of intake that is likely to pose no risk of harmful effects.

Eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day provides about 50% to 65% of the adult RDA for vitamin A.

I have attached the RDA for Vitamin A on my web site under this podcast.


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that plays a vital role in your body. Vitamin A is involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. Vitamin A is essential for overall health and well-being. Because the human body cannot make it, people must obtain this vitamin from their diet. By eating a balanced diet and incorporating the food sources I provided that are rich in vitamin A, you will be assured you will be A okay!


Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin A [5] RDAs for vitamin A are given as retinol activity equivalents (RAE) 

Age        Male      Female  Pregnancy           Lactation

0–6 months*      400 mcg RAE      400 mcg RAE                    

7–12 months*    500 mcg RAE      500 mcg RAE                    

1–3 years            300 mcg RAE      300 mcg RAE                    

4–8 years            400 mcg RAE      400 mcg RAE                    

9–13 years          600 mcg RAE      600 mcg RAE                    

14–18 years        900 mcg RAE      700 mcg RAE      750 mcg RAE      1,200 mcg RAE

19–50 years        900 mcg RAE      700 mcg RAE      770 mcg RAE      1,300 mcg RAE

51+ years            900 mcg RAE      700 mcg RAE                    

*Adequate Intake (AI), equivalent to the mean intake of vitamin A in healthy, breastfed infants.

International Units and mcg RAE

Vitamin A is now measured in mcg RAE, but it was previously measured in International Units (IUs) [7]. To convert IU to mcg RAE, use the following [8]:

1 IU retinol = 0.3 mcg RAE