Vitamin A

Main functions

Vitamin A is necessary for the function of light-sensitive nerve cells (photoreceptors) in the eye’s retina.Therefore Vitamin A is essential normal and night vision.  It also helps keep the skin and the lining of the lungs, intestine, and urinary tract healthy and is essential for immune function, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are pigments in vegetables that give them their yellow, orange or red color.

How much do I need?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means you don’t need it every day because any of the vitamin your body doesn’t need immediately is stored for future use.

You should be able to get all the vitamin A you need from your daily diet. This is:

0.7 mg a day for men
0.6 mg a day for women

Good Food Sources
Milk, cheese, eggs, liver, oily fish, taramasalata, beta carotene(and other caroteniods) green, yellow & orange fruits & vegetables and fruit, especially carrots, tomatoes, mangoes, apricots sweet potato, spinach, apricots, peach, parsley, spinach pumpkin, tomato puree, cantaloupe melons and broccoli, kale,brussels sprouts, butternut squash.

Potential deficiency signs & symptoms

Dryness, itching, tiredness & redness of the eyes; Poor night vision, gradual loss of sight; Dry, rough, itchy skin with rash, acne, boils; Dry, brittle hair and nails, scaly scalp; Loss of sense of smell, taste and appetite; Defective teeth and gums; Poor growth; Fatigue; Headaches; Anaemia; Increased vulnerability to infections, skin infections; Impaired reproduction and fertility.

What might happen if you take too much?

Some research suggests that having more than an average of 1.5mg per day of vitamin A over many years may affect your bones and make them more likely to fracture when you’re older.

 

Back to Vitamins and Minerals


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