Vitamin A: Benefits, Food-sources, Deficiency, Toxicity, and More image

Vitamin A: Benefits, Food-Sources, Deficiency, Toxicity, And More

It's a Semi-myth that eating carrots will help you See in the dark. A carrot's primary nutrient, Vitamin A, cannot give you superpowers for night vision or cure your dependence on contact lenses, but eating an adequate amount will support the eye's health.

Vitamin A also stimulates the activity and production of white blood cells (WBC), takes part in remodeling bone structure, helps maintain endothelial cells' health, and regulates cell growth and division as needed for reproduction.

There are two primary forms of Vitamin A: lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and others.

Recommended Dose or Amounts of Vitamin A (Vit. A)

The Institute of Medicine cites Vit's Recommended Dietary Allowance s (RDA). An in micrograms (mcg) of RAE, i.e., Vitamin A is currently measured in international units (IU). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Vit in new food and dietary supplement labeling regulations. An as IU but as "mcg RAE."

RDA:  The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Adults (19 years and above that) is 900 micrograms RAE for men (equivalent to 3,000 International units) and 700 RAE micrograms for women (equivalent to 2,333 IU).

UL:  The Tolerable Intake Upper Level is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects on health. The UL for Vitamin A.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance s (RDA) for Vit. A is given as RAE, i.e., Retinol activity equivalents to the different bioactivities of provitamin A carotenoids and Retinol, all of which are converted by the body into Retinol. One microgram of RAE is equivalent to 1 mcg of Retinol, two supplemental Beta-Carotene, 12 dietary Beta-Carotene, or 24 micrograms of dietary alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin.

Table: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Up to 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    

The measurement for Vitamin A is now in mcg RAE, but International Units were previously used. For conversion IU to mcg RAE, use the following :

  • one IU Retinol = 0.3 mcg RAE
  • one IU supplemental Beta-Carotene = 0.3 mcg RAE
  • one IU dietary Beta-Carotene = 0.05 mcg RAE
  • one IU dietary alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin = 0.025 micrograms RAE

An example, the Vitamin A.

Vitamin A and Health

The evidence suggests that eating various foods rich in Supplements is less clear.

  • The most common clinical sign is Xerophthalmia, which develops after low plasma Xerophthalmia also damages the cornea and can eventually lead to permanent blindness.
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Anemia and respiratory diseases (such as pneumonia), and death.

Food Sources

Many breakfast bowls of cereal, dairy products, juices, and other foods are fortified with Retinol. A wide range of vegetables and Supplements contain b-carotene, lycopene, lutein, or zeaxanthin.

  • Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, and other winter squash, summer squash)

Table: Vitamin A Content of Selected Foods Sources

Food

mcg RAE
per Serving

Percent
DV*

Beef liver, shallow fried, 3 ounces

6,582

731

Sweet potato, baked in skin, one whole

1,403

156

Spinach, boiled, ½ cup

573

64

Pumpkin pie, one piece

488

54

Carrots, raw, ½ cup

459

51

Herring, Atlantic, pickled, 3 ounces

219

24

Ice cream, French vanilla, soft Serve, ⅔ cup

185

21

Milk,  with added Vitamin A, 1 cup

149

17

Cantaloupe, raw, ½ cup

135

15

Cheese, ricotta, part skim, ½ cup

133

15

Peppers, sweet, red, natural, ½ cup

117

13

Mangos, raw, 1 Fruit

112

12

Breakfast Cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for Vitamin A, 1 Serving

90

10

Egg, hard-boiled, one large

75

8

Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, 1 cup

66

7

Apricots, dried, Sulfur ed, 5 apricots

63

7

Broccoli, boiled, ½ cup

60

7

Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces

59

7

Tomato juice, canned, ¾ cup

42

5

Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 cup

32

4

Tuna, light, canned in oil, drained solids, 3 ounces

20

2

Baked beans, canned, plain or vegetarian, 1 cup

13

1

Summer squash, all varieties, boiled, ½ cup

10

1

Chicken, breast meat and skin, roasted, ½ breast

5

1

Pistachio Nuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce

4

0

*DV = Daily Value.

  •  FDA developed DVs to help consumers(GRAHAK) compare the nutrient contents of foods and dietary Supplements within the context of a total diet.
  • The DV for Beta-Carotene from foods, 24 mcg alpha-carotene, or 24 mcg beta-cryptoxanthin.

Signs of Toxicity & Deficiency

Deficiency

A deficiency of this Vitamin A deficiency may cause fatigue, infection susceptibility, and Infertility.

The following are signs of a more severe drought.

  • Xerophthalmia is a Severe dryness of the eye that, if treatment is not provided correctly, can lead to blindness.
  • Nyctalopia or night blindness
  • Irregular patches are Seen on the white part of the eyes
  • Dry hair and skin

Toxicity

Vitamin A toxicity may be more commonly Seen in the U.S. due to high doses of preformed Vitamin D (calciferol).

Signs of toxicity include the following Symptoms.

  • Vision Changes such as Blurred Vision
  • painfulness in the bones
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • skin dryness
  • Sensitivity to sunlight or other bright light

In contrast to preformed Supplements with increased lung cancer risk.

INTERESTING Facts: 

There have been claims that Vitamin A in topical creams is not Absorbed into the bloodstream and, therefore, would not contribute to toxic levels.

Retinoids in skin creams can cause the skin to become highly sensitive to sunlight, so it is advisable to apply Vitamin A creams at night-time and avoid the intense sun after use.

Health care bits of advice like these :

  • It would help if you got Vitamin A as per need by eating varied and balanced food.
  • If you take a medicine that contains Vitamin A, do not take too much because this could be harmful.
  • The liver and its product are a rich source of Vitamin A. Do not eat liver or liver products more than once a week.
  • You should be aware of how many supplements you take.
  • If you are pregnant or planning for a baby:
  • avoid taking extra foods containing Vitamin A, including fish liver oil, unless advised to by your doctor
  • avoid liver or liver products
  • Women who have reached menopause and older men, who have more risk of osteoporosis, should avoid taking more than 1.5mg of Supplements (including fish liver oil).

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