Good Food Sources of Vitamin A

Vitamin A has a chemical name called retinol. Although the major food sources of vitamin A are from animal, you will find milk and some vegetables contain yellow or orange carotenes that our body can convert into retinol, thereby are considered food sources of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is among the most important. The easiest method to define vitamin A diet activity is by this equation: 6 g beta-carotene or 6 g retinol = 1 g retinol equivalent. Beta-carotene that is lost or not properly absorbed compared with that of general diet is taken into account in this average value.

Food Sources of Vitamin A

You seldom find substantial amount of vitamin A in foods. Fish liver oils are food sources with high concentration of vitamin A. At the same time, dairy produce, animal liver, kidney and eggs also have a good deal of retinol. There is none found in lard and dripping though. Carrots, yellow or dark green vegetables are also food sources of vitamin A that contain different amount of beta-carotene; the darker the color, the higher the content. In this case, you can say cabbage has lesser compared to spinach, and dark outer leaves of cabbage have more than the pale inner heart has. The law requires margarine sold in retail shops to contain as high amount of vitamin A as butter. That is why beta-carotene and retinol contained in margarine are usually synthetic. Overall, the diets in our country contain twice the recommended levels of vitamin A intake, with the ratio of 2:1 for retinol and carotene respectively.

Function and Effects of Deficiency or Excess

Vitamin A helps a lot in night vision and is useful to prevent night blindness. Children in some parts of the world are down with eye lesions and complete blindness due to vitamin A deficiency. Besides, if you want healthy skin and surface tissues, vitamin A is a must-have.
On the other hand, too much intake of vitamin A can be harmful as it stays in our liver for a long time.

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