Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for cell growth and maintenance of skin tissue and is Important in vision health.

How can we get enough Vitamin A in our diets?

Good sources of vitamin A in the diet include fruits and vegetables, especially those that are deep orange or dark green in color. Carrots, spinach, cantaloupe, fortified milk, sweet potatoes, apricots, broccoli, mangoes, tomatoes are all excellent sources. The vitamin can also be found in dairy products, liver and egg yolks. Most healthy adults need between 800-1000 ug RE (microgram retinol equivalents) per day.

Food SourceVitamin A (ug RE)
1 medium baked sweet potato 2488
1 medium raw carrot2025
1 cup cantaloupe516
2 scrambled eggs 238
1/2 cup cooked broccoli 174
8 ounces low fat milk145
1 cup canned peaches in juice95

What about Vitamin A supplements?

Since vitamin A helps to maintain skin, doctors often use it to treat acne and other skin conditions. Watch out, though! Excess amounts of a kind of vitamin A known as beta-carotene can turn your skin orange! High doses of vitamin A can even be toxic. That’s because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and we don’t tend to get rid of it in the urine like we do with some water-soluble vitamins. Instead, the extra gets stored in our liver or body fat. Before you take extra vitamin A, either by putting it on your skin or taking a pill, ask your doctor. He or she can help you determine the benefits of vitamin A for you.

Words to know

Water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin that dissolves in water: B vitamins, vitamin C

Fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin that does not dissolve in water: vitamins A, D, E and K.

Antioxidants. Substances that have been shown to help the body cells fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease

Beta-carotene. A form of vitamin A found in dark green or dark orange fruits and vegetables

Toxic. Poisonous