Nutrient Spotlight: Vitamin A
Vitamin is one of four fat soluble vitamins. This means vitamin A is dissolved in fats and can be found in foods containing fats. This vitamin supports many functions of the human body including:
- Vision and Eye Development- especially the ability to see in the dark
- Gestational Development- this means vitamin A is important when babies are growing in mommy’s tummy
- Immunity- this refers to the body’s ability to fight off germs before they make us sick
Types of Vitamin A
There are two types of vitamin A know as preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.
- Preformed vitamin A is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. This type is known as the active form and can be used by your body as is.
- Provitamin A is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plants. This type is known as the inactive forma and must be converted by your body to an active form before using it.
Where can I find vitamin A?
Vitamin A can be found in both plant and animal food sources. Good sources of vitamin A include:
- Egg yolks
- Orange, yellow, and red veggies
- Dark leafy greens
How much vitamin A do I need?
Most Americans, children included, get enough vitamin A through their diet. Recommended dietary allowance by age can be found below. If you suspect a vitamin A deficiency or are curious about supplementation, consult your doctor for medical advice.
Recommended Dietary Allowances for Vitamin A
- 0-6 months 400 mcg RAE
- 7-12 months 500 mcg RAE
- 1-3 years 300 mcg RAE
- 4-8 years 400 mcg RAE
- 9-13 years 600 mcg RAE
- 14-18 years 900 mcg RAE