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Vitamin A (Retinol and Retinol Equivalents)

Vitamin A (Retinol), a fat-soluble vitamin, is essential for

  • healthy vision
  • eyes
  • skin formation
  • proper bone growth
  • mucous membranes

Vitamin A also acts in the body as an antioxidant, a protective chemical that may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Excess vitamin is stored in our body part, liver. Excess vitamin A consumption can be poisonous and cause the following side-effects:

  • double vision
  • liver and bone damage
  • headache
  • proper bone growth
  • mucous membranes

There are two sources of dietary vitamin A, active forms and precursors. Active forms of vitamin A are obtained from animal products. These are known as retinoids which include retinal and retinol. Another sources of vitamin A is precursors. It is also known as provitamins. Provitamins are obtained from fruits and vegetables containing yellow, orange and dark green pigments. These pigments are known as carotenoids, the most well-known being beta-carotene. Our body can convert carotenes into retinol. Adequate intake of beta-carotenes has been linked with low risk of certain cancers.


Good Sources of Vitamin A

Food / 100g Amount (µg)
Lamb's liver 17300
Chicken liver 9700
Cod liver oil 1800
Butter 887
Double cream 654
Cheddar cheese 363
Eggs 190

µ = one millionth, 0.000001


Best Sources of Carotene

Food / 100g Amount (µg) Retinol Equivalents (µg)
Carrots 8118 1353
Baked Sweet Potatoes 5130 855
Swiss chard 4596 766
Chilli peppers 4110 685
Capsicum 3840 640
Spinach 3840 640
Mango 1800 300

µ = one millionth, 0.000001

Recommended Intakes for Adults:

UK Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNI) - 600µg (female), 700µg (male)

USA Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) - 700µg (female), 900µg (male)