What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin.There are two different types of Vitamin A found in our di
et. Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods. The other type, pro-vitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements, usually in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) or a combination of preformed and pro-vitamin A.

Vitamin A & You

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye.

Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. It may also be needed for reproduction and breast-feeding.

Carotenoids are dark-colored dyes (pigments) found in plant foods that can turn into a form of vitamin A. There are more than 500 known carotenoids. One such carotenoid is beta-carotene.

  • Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to certain chronic diseases and play a role in the aging processes.
  • Food sources of carotenoids such as beta-carotene may reduce the risk for cancer.
  • Beta-carotene supplements do not seem to reduce cancer risk.

You might want to consider increasing these foods in your diet:

Vitamin A Food Source, Rich in Vitamin A, Folate rich

There are side effects if the body does not get enough Vitamin A. And too much Vitamin A causes poisoning. Find out more about Vitamin A deficiency and poisoning.

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