assorted fresh fruit

Nutrition Facts:
Vitamin A

Printable fact sheet(PDF KB/2 pages)

  • Vitamin A is a generic term for a large number of related compounds that promote healthy vision, bone growth, and the surface linings of the skin. It helps the immune system by creating the white blood cells that destroys harmful bacteria and viruses.
  • Vitamin A from animal sources is preformed and is absorbed as retinal. Vitamin A from plant sources are called carotenoids and are converted by our bodies into retinal.
  • One of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. Severe deficiencies are not common in the United States but it can be found in individuals consuming excess alcohol, children living in poverty, and individuals with disorders of the intestines.
  • Preformed Vitamin A at high levels can make you sick, cause birth defects, or death. It is possible to get too much vitamin A from eating large amounts of liver but in most cases toxicity is caused by taking excessive amounts of a preformed vitamin A supplement. Plant sources of vitamin A are not
    toxic even at high levels.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances for vitamin A are measured in micrograms but most food and supplement labels use International Units (IU). Adequate Intakes (AI) are used when there is not enough evidence to establish an RDA. Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) applies to healthy populations and is designed to prevent vitamin A toxicity.
  • A ½ cup of cooked vegetable provides more vitamin A than a ½ cup of the same vegetable raw because the cooked vegetable weighs more.

Requirements across the Lifecycle:

 

Life-stage Group

 

Recommended Dietary Allowance

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
  • Adequate Intakes (AIs)
  • Tolerable Upper Intake (UL)

RDAs and AIs may both be used as goals for individual intake.

 

Infants

 

0-6 months

1,333 IU      1,998 IU

7-12 months

1,667 IU      1,998 IU

 

Children

 

 

1-3 years

1,000 IU      1,998 IU

 

4-8 years

1,333 IU      2,997 IU

Good Food Sources:

Males

 

  • Sweet potato

9-13 years

2,000 IU      5,661 IU

  • Carrots

14-18 years

3,000 IU      9,324 IU

  • Kale

19-30 years

3,000 IU      9,990 IU

  • Spinach

31-50 years

3,000 IU      9,990 IU

  • Cabbage

51-70 years

3,000 IU      9,990 IU

  • Cantaloupe

> 70 years

3,000 IU      9,990 IU

  • Apricots

Females

 

  • Romaine Lettuce

9-13 years

2,000 IU      5,661 IU

  • Broccoli

14-18 years

2,333 IU      9,342 IU

  • Milk

19-30 years

2,333 IU      9,990 IU

  • Sweet peppers

31-50 years

2,333 IU      9,990 IU

  • Liver (beef, poultry, and pork)

51-70 years

2,333 IU      9,990 IU

 

> 70 years

2,333 IU      9,990 IU

 

Pregnancy

 

 

</= 18 years

2,500 IU      9,324 IU

 

19-30 years

2,567 IU      9,990 IU

 

31-50 years

2,567 IU      9,990 IU

 

Lactation

 

 

</= 18 years

4,000 IU      9,324 IU

 

19-30 years

4,333 IU      9,990 IU

 

31-50 years

4,333 IU      9,990 IU

 

 

Research Findings on Vitamin A
Various studies:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus
/druginfo/natural/patient-vitamina.html

Updated Wednesday, October 08, 2014 at 11:37AM