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Vitamin A belongs to a group of vitamins called fat-soluble vitamins, which require the presence of dietary fat in order to be properly absorbed 2. Vitamin A ensures that your eyes remain healthy and allows you to see 2. Vitamin A also plays important roles in reproduction, immunity and cell differentiation 2. In order to keep your body healthy, it is important to consume the required amount of vitamin A every day 2.
Recommendations for vitamin A are based on age 2. Infants between 0 and 6 months require 400 mcg per day, whereas infants between 7 and 12 months need 500 mcg per day. Toddlers between 1 and 3 need 300 mcg every day. Children from the ages of 4 to 8 should consume 400 mcg per day, whereas children from 9 to 13 need 600 mcg per day. Adolescent boys between the ages 14 and 18 and adult men aged 19 and older require 900 mcg per day. Adolescent girls between the ages of 14 and 18 and adult women aged 19 and older need 700 mcg per day.
- Recommendations for vitamin A are based on age 2.
- Children from the ages of 4 to 8 should consume 400 mcg per day, whereas children from 9 to 13 need 600 mcg per day.
Is B12 Water or Fat Soluble?
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding have slightly increased vitamin A needs 2. Pregnant women aged 18 and younger should aim to consume 750 mcg per day, whereas pregnant women aged 19 and older require 770 mcg daily. Breast-feeding women aged 18 and younger should aim to consume 1,200 mcg of vitamin A every day, whereas breast-feeding women 19 and older require 1,300 mcg daily 2.
A wide variety of foods contain vitamin A 2. The best sources include cod liver oil, fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, butter and milk. Other good sources of vitamin A include:
- sweet potatoes
- collard greens
- butternut squash 2
Signs & Symptoms of Parathyroid Disease High Calcium
If you do not regularly meet your vitamin A needs, you may develop a vitamin A deficiency 2. Because vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes, the first sign of a deficiency is often night blindness 2. Severe vitamin A deficiency can lead to a condition called xeropthalmia, which is characterized by extreme dryness of the cornea 2.
On the other hand, if you consume too much vitamin A, it can cause a vitamin A toxicity, called hypervitaminosis A 2. The development of hypervitaminosis A is usually gradual and results in dry itchy skin, loss of appetite, headache, bone pain and joint pain. The Food and Nutrition Board set the upper tolerable intake level, or UL, at 3,000 mcg per day for adults to avoid toxicity.
- If you do not regularly meet your vitamin A needs, you may develop a vitamin A deficiency 2.
- On the other hand, if you consume too much vitamin A, it can cause a vitamin A toxicity, called hypervitaminosis A 2.
Is B12 Water or Fat Soluble?
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- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin A
- Medline Plus: Vitamin A
- "Nutrition and You"; Joan Salge Blake; 2008
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- Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, et al. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr J. 2012;11:78. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-78
- Carrillo AE, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, et al. Impact of vitamin D supplementation during a resistance training intervention on body composition, muscle function, and glucose tolerance in overweight and obese adults. Clin Nutr. 2013;32(3):375-381. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014
- Marcinowska-Suchowierska E, Kupisz-Urbańska M, Łukaszkiewicz J, Płudowski P, Jones G. Vitamin D Toxicity-A Clinical Perspective. Front Endocrinol. 2018;9:550. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00550
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- Bouillon R, Van Schoor NM, Gielen E, et al. Optimal vitamin D status: a critical analysis on the basis of evidence-based medicine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(8):E1283-E1304. doi:10.1210/jc.2013-1195
- American Academy of Dermatology. Position Statement of Vitamin D. 2010.
- Taksler GB, Cutler DM, Giovannucci E, Keating NL. Vitamin D deficiency in minority populations. Public Health Nutr. 2015;18(3):379-391. doi:10.1017/S1368980014000457
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- Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, et al. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006; 134:1129-40.
- Carrillo AE1, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, Markofski MM, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Teegarden D. Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation During a Resistance Training Intervention on Body Composition, Muscle Function, and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;32(3):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
- Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA, Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169:384-90.
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: a Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: a Quantitative Meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Mar;32(3):210-6.
- Heaney, Robert P. “The Vitamin D Requirement in Health and Disease.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 97 (2005):13-9.
- Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils M, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug 2007: 07-E013.
- Salehpour A1, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of Vitamin D₃ Supplementation on Body Fat Mass in Healthy Overweight and Obese Women. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Seasonal Influenza A in Schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 91:1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
- Wilkins, Consuelo H. and Yvette I. Sheline, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14 (2006): 1032-40.
Lindsay Boyers has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.