Vitamin FAQ – Vitamin A

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What does Vitamin A do?

Vitamin A plays important roles in multiple body functions. It maintains the integrity of the cornea (in the eye); plays a role in skin, bone, and teeth growth; has immune functions and also helps regulate the production of reproductive hormones.

Basically, Vitamin A plays a role in a lot of the different things we need in our everyday life like vision, healthy skin, bone and teeth growth, and is important for both protecting our bodies and reproduction.

 

Am I getting enough Vitamin A?

Vitamin A deficiency in the US is rare but there are a few groups that are at higher risk for Vitamin A deficiency. These include premature infants; children and women in developing countries; and individuals with cystic fibrosis.

What happens if I don’t get enough or get too much Vitamin A?

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the US but symptoms include being unable to see in low light and can lead to blindness if it isn’t treated. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness in developing countries.

Too much Vitamin A can also be harmful but generally only occurs from taking supplements and certain medication. Symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity include dizziness, nausea, headaches, and coma. Too much Vitamin A may also affect pregnant women and cause birth defects.

What are good sources of Vitamin A?

Eating a balanced diet ensures receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin A, the following foods are good sources of Vitamin A:

  • Salmon
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Other vegetables that are green, orange, and yellow like broccoli, carrots, and squash
  • Some fruits (cantaloupe, apricots, and mangos)
  • Dairy products
  • Fortified breakfast cereals

If you have a question, please do not hesitate to reach out. For more information, check out the National Institute of Health’s Vitamin A Fact Sheet.

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Dua genuinely believes that our relationship with food should not be complicated. She likes to focus on eating in moderation and listening to your body but this, of course, will be different from person to person and body to body.

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