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Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a collective name that includes compounds such as retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and their precursors (such as beta-carotene). All of these are fat-soluble.

Vitamin A plays a critical role in vision, and in its absence can lead to blindness. In addition, a vitamin A deficiency can disrupt fat metabolism and lead to inadequate absorption of fat in the body, inadequate production of bile and skin diseases. As vitamin A needs zinc to be transported, vitamin A deficiency can also occur in the absence of zinc.

Vitamin A plays a role in the development of the immune system and also in the proper functioning of the immune system once it is fully established. Therefore, during infections, the body's need for vitamin A increases, so it is easy to become vitamin A deficient during such illnesses, especially in children, who have an underdeveloped immune system and often get infections, so it is very important to supplement vitamin A in children

Vitamin A rich foods:

  • Beef liver, Eggs, Ricotta cheese, 
  • Herring, Salmon, Tuna
  • Spinach, Broccoli, Broccoli, Pumpkin, Carrots, Peppers
  • Sweet potatoes, Black-eyed beans
  • Cantaloupe

Recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A (retinol activity equivalent, RAE):

  • 900 mcg RAE for men
  • 700 mcg RAE for women
  • 300 - 600 mcg RAE for children (depending on age)

RAE conversions:

  • 1 IU retinol = 0.3 mcg RAE
  • 1 IU beta-carotene supplement = 0.3 mcg RAE
  • 1 IU beta-carotene from food supplement = 0.05 mcg RAE

Tolerable upper limit:

  • 0-3 years 600 mcg
  • 4-8 years 900 mcg
  • 9-13 years 1700 mcg
  • 14-18 years 2800 mg
  • Over 18 years 3000 mg
  • Pregnancy: 3000 mg
  • Breastfeeding 3000 mg

It is important not to exceed the tolerable upper limit (3000% RDI) in the long term to avoid side effects.


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