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:
- 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.