Why do you need it?
Our bodies need vitamin A to run properly. Getting enough of this vitamin in your diet is important for healthy eyes, skin, bones, and teeth.
- It helps to prevent eye conditions like night blindness, dry eyes, dry skin and plays a part in the development and growth of your skin and bones.
- Not getting enough vitamin A can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of getting sick.
- Studies reveal that vitamin A can also lower the risk of some types of cancers, such as skin, bladder, stomach, lung, and breast cancers.
- A recent study showed a link between vitamin A and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. It found that people with higher intakes of vitamin A were less likely to develop this form of skin cancer.
How much do you need?
According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamin A for men is 900 mcg (micrograms) and 700 mcg for women. Although rare, it is possible to consume too much vitamin A. Some symptoms can include nausea, headache, blurred vision, and dizziness.
|Females (14 and older)||700 mcg|
|Males (14 and older)||900 mcg|
How you can add more vitamin A to your diet
Vitamin A comes in two forms; preformed and provitamin. Foods containing preformed or retinol vitamin A are active in your body right after you eat them. Preformed vitamin A is found in animal foods such as milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, salmon, eggs, and liver. One eight-ounce cup of milk provides 15% of your daily value of vitamin A.
Foods containing provitamin A need to be converted by your body to vitamin A after you eat them. Provitamin A is found in plant foods such as sweet potatoes, red peppers, kale, carrots, spinach, and cantaloupe.5 Eating more of these vitamin A rich foods will help strengthen your immune system, vision, skin, and bones and help you be well on your way to a healthier body.
Enjoy this delicious smoothie full of ingredients that are rich in vitamin A
Tropical Protein Power Smoothie
About the author: Susan Vanoosterhout is currently in her senior year at Arizona State University, majoring in Nutrition. She is also a stay-at-home mom and in her free-time enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and learning about nutrition.
- Huang Z, Liu Y, Qi G et al. Role of vitamin A in the immune system. J Clin Med. 2018; 7(9): 258. doi:10.3390/jcm7090258
- Doldo E, Costanza G, Agostinelli S et al. Vitamin A, cancer treatment and prevention: The new role of cellular retinol binding proteins. Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015: 624627-14.
- Stephenson CB. Vitamin A, infection, and immune function. Annu Rev Nutr. 2001;21:167-92. doi:10.1146/annurev.nutr.21.1.167
- Kim J, Park MK, Li W et al. Association of vitamin A intake with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma risk in the United States. JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(11):1260-1268. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.1937
- Vitamin A, fact sheet for health professionals. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/. Accessed March 18, 2022.