18 Foods High in Vitamin A

Vitamin A1, also known as retinol, is only found in animal-sourced foods, such as oily fish, liver, cheese and butter. 18 foods high in vitamin A are mentioned below.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver.

There are two types of vitamin A that are found in the diet.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy foods.
  • Provitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. It most often comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of preformed and provitamin A.

1. Beef Liver — 713% DV per serving

1 slice: 6,421 mcg (713% DV) 100 grams: 9,442 mcg (1,049% DV)

2. Lamb Liver — 236% DV per serving

1 ounce: 2,122 mcg (236% DV) 100 grams: 7,491 mcg (832% DV)

3. Liver Sausage — 166% DV per serving

1 slice: 1,495 mcg (166% DV) 100 grams: 8,384 mcg (923% DV)

4. Cod Liver Oil — 150% DV per serving

1 teaspoon: 1,350 mcg (150% DV) 100 grams: 30,000 mcg (3,333% DV)

5. Salmon — 25% DV per serving

Half a fillet: 229 mcg (25% DV) 100 grams: 149 mcg (17% DV)

6. Goose Liver Pâté — 14% DV per serving

1 tablespoon: 130 mcg (14% DV) 100 grams: 1,001 mcg (111% DV)

7. Goat Cheese — 13% DV per serving

1 slice: 115 mcg (13% DV) 100 grams: 407 mcg (45% DV)

8. Butter — 11% DV per serving

1 tablespoon: 97 mcg (11% DV) 100 grams: 684 mcg (76% DV)

9. Limburger Cheese — 11% DV per serving

1 slice: 96 mcg (11% DV) 100 grams: 340 mcg (38% DV)

10. Cheddar — 10% DV per serving

1 slice: 92 mcg (10% DV) 100 grams: 330 mcg (37% DV)

11. Camembert — 10% DV per serving

1 wedge: 92 mcg (10% DV) 100 grams: 241 mcg (27% DV)

12. Roquefort Cheese — 9% DV per serving

1 ounce: 83 mcg (9% DV) 100 grams: 294 mcg (33% DV)

13. Hard-Boiled Egg — 8% DV per serving

1 large egg: 74 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 149 mcg (17% DV)

14. Trout — 8% DV per serving

1 fillet: 71 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 100 mcg (11% DV)

15. Blue Cheese — 6% DV per serving

1 ounce: 56 mcg (6% DV) 100 grams: 198 mcg (22% DV)

16. Cream Cheese — 5% DV per serving

1 tablespoon: 45 mcg (5% DV) 100 grams: 308 mcg (34% DV)

17. Caviar — 5% DV per serving

1 tablespoon: 43 mcg (5% DV) 100 grams: 271 mcg (30% DV)

18. Feta Cheese — 4% DV per serving

1 ounce: 35 mcg (4% DV) 100 grams: 125 mcg (14% DV)

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10 Fruits High in Provitamin A

There are two types of vitamin A that are found in the diet. 10 Fruits High in Provitamin A are mentioned.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy foods.
  • Provitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. It most often comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of preformed and provitamin A. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936685/

Provitamin A is generally more abundant in vegetables than fruits. But a few types of fruit provide good amounts, as shown below.

1. Mango — 20% DV per serving

1 medium mango: 181 mcg (20% DV) 100 grams: 54 mcg (6% DV)

2. Cantaloupe — 19% DV per serving

1 large wedge: 172 mcg (19% DV) 100 grams: 169 mcg (19% DV)

3. Pink or Red Grapefruit — 16% DV per serving

1 medium grapefruit: 143 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 58 mcg (6% DV)

4. Watermelon — 9% DV per serving

1 wedge: 80 mcg (9% DV) 100 grams: 28 mcg (3% DV)

5. Papaya — 8% DV per serving

1 small papaya: 74 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 47 mcg (5% DV)

6. Apricot — 4% DV per serving

1 medium apricot: 34 mcg (4% DV) 100 grams: 96 mcg (11% DV)

7. Tangerine — 3% DV per serving

1 medium tangerine: 30 mcg (3% DV) 100 grams: 34 mcg (4% DV)

8. Nectarine — 3% DV per serving

1 medium nectarine: 24 mcg (3% DV) 100 grams: 17 mcg (2% DV)

9. Guava — 2% DV per serving

1 medium guava: 17 mcg (2% DV) 100 grams: 31 mcg (3% DV)

10. Passion Fruit — 1% DV per serving

1 medium fruit: 12 mcg (1% DV) 100 grams: 64 mcg (7% DV)

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10 Vegetables High in Provitamin A

There are two types of vitamin A that are found in the diet. 10 Vegetables High in Provitamin A are mentioned.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy foods.
  • Provitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. It most often comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of preformed and provitamin A. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936685/

Your body can produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in plants.

These carotenoids include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, which are collectively known as provitamin A.

However, about 45% of people carry a genetic mutation that significantly reduces their ability to convert provitamin A into vitamin A.

Depending on your genetics, the following vegetables might provide considerably less vitamin A than indicated.

1. Sweet Potato (cooked) — 204% DV per serving

1 cup: 1,836 mcg (204% DV) 100 grams: 1,043 mcg (116% DV)

2. Winter Squash (cooked) — 127% DV per serving

1 cup: 1,144 mcg (127% DV) 100 grams: 558 mcg (62% DV)

3. Kale (cooked) — 98% DV per serving

1 cup: 885 mcg (98% DV) 100 grams: 681 mcg (76% DV)

4. Collards (cooked) — 80% DV per serving

1 cup: 722 mcg (80% DV) 100 grams: 380 mcg (42% DV)

5. Turnip Greens (cooked) — 61% DV per serving

1 cup: 549 mcg (61% DV) 100 grams: 381 mcg (42% DV)

6. Carrot (cooked) — 44% DV per serving

1 medium carrot: 392 mcg (44% DV) 100 grams: 852 mcg (95% DV)

7. Sweet Red Pepper (raw) — 29% DV per serving

1 large pepper: 257 mcg (29% DV) 100 grams: 157 mcg (17% DV)

8. Swiss Chard (raw) — 16% DV per serving

1 leaf: 147 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 306 mcg (34% DV)

9. Spinach (raw) — 16% DV per serving

1 cup: 141 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 469 mcg (52% DV)

10. Romaine Lettuce (raw) — 14% DV per serving

1 large leaf: 122 mcg (14% DV) 100 grams: 436 mcg (48% DV)

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6 Health Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the generic term for a group of fat-soluble compounds highly important for human health. 6 health benefits of vitamin A are mentioned below.

They’re essential for many processes in your body, including maintaining healthy vision, ensuring the normal function of your immune system and organs and aiding the proper growth and development of babies in the womb.

It’s recommended that men get 900 mcg, women 700 mcg and children and adolescents 300–600 mcg of vitamin A per day (1Trusted Source).

Vitamin A compounds are found in both animal and plant foods and come in two different forms: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.

Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form of the vitamin, which your body can use just as it is. It’s found in animal products including meat, chicken, fish and dairy and includes the compounds retinol, retinal and retinoic acid.

Provitamin A carotenoids — alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin — are the inactive form of the vitamin found in plants.

These compounds are converted to the active form in your body. For example, beta-carotene is converted to retinol (an active form of vitamin A) in your small intestine (2Trusted Source).

Here are 6 important health benefits of vitamin A.

1. Protects Your Eyes From Night Blindness and Age-Related Decline

Vitamin A is essential for preserving your eyesight.

The vitamin is needed to convert light that hits your eye into an electrical signal that can be sent to your brain.

In fact, one of the first symptoms of vitamin A deficiency can be night blindness, known as nyctalopia (3Trusted Source).

Night blindness occurs in people with vitamin A deficiency, as the vitamin is a major component of the pigment rhodopsin.

Rhodopsin is found in the retina of your eye and extremely sensitive to light.

People with this condition can still see normally during the day, but have reduced vision in darkness as their eyes struggle to pick up light at lower levels.

In addition to preventing night blindness, eating adequate amounts of beta-carotene may help slow the decline in eyesight that some people experience as they age (4Trusted Source).

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Though its exact cause is unknown, it’s thought to be the result of cellular damage to the retina, attributable to oxidative stress (5Trusted Source).

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that giving people over the age of 50 with some eyesight degeneration an antioxidant supplement (including beta-carotene) reduced their risk of developing advanced macular degeneration by 25% (6Trusted Source).

However, a recent Cochrane review found that beta-carotene supplements alone won’t prevent or delay the decline in eyesight caused by AMD (7Trusted Source).

2. May Lower Your Risk of Certain Cancers

Cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow or divide in an uncontrolled way.

As vitamin A plays an important role in the growth and development of your cells, its influence on cancer risk and role in cancer prevention is of interest to scientists (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

In observational studies, eating higher amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene has been linked to a decreased risk of certain types of cancer, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as cervical, lung and bladder cancer (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

Yet, though high intakes of vitamin A from plant foods have been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, animal foods which contain active forms of vitamin A aren’t linked in the same way (14Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

Similarly, vitamin A supplements haven’t shown the same beneficial effects (16Trusted Source).

In fact, in some studies, smokers taking beta-carotene supplements experienced an increased risk of lung cancer (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

At the moment, the relationship between vitamin A levels in your body and cancer risk is still not fully understood.

Still, current evidence suggests that getting adequate vitamin A, especially from plants, is important for healthy cell division and may reduce your risk of some types of cancer (20Trusted Source).

3. Supports a Healthy Immune System

Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining your body’s natural defenses.

This includes the mucous barriers in your eyes, lungs, gut and genitals which help trap bacteria and other infectious agents.

It’s also involved in the production and function of white blood cells, which help capture and clear bacteria and other pathogens from your bloodstream.

This means that a deficiency in vitamin A can increase your susceptibility to infections and delay your recovery when you get sick (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source).

In fact, in countries where infections like measles and malaria are common, correcting vitamin A deficiency in children has been shown to decrease the risk of dying from these diseases (23Trusted Source).

4. Reduces Your Risk of Acne

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder.

People with this condition develop painful spots and blackheads, most commonly on the face, back and chest.

These spots occur when the sebaceous glands get clogged up with dead skin and oils. These glands are found in the hair follicles on your skin and produce sebum, an oily, waxy substance that keeps your skin lubricated and waterproof.

Though the spots are physically harmless, acne may have a serious effect on people’s mental health and lead to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression (24Trusted Source).

The exact role that vitamin A plays in the development and treatment of acne remains unclear (25Trusted Source).

It has been suggested that vitamin A deficiency may increase your risk of developing acne, as it causes an overproduction of the protein keratin in your hair follicles (2627Trusted Source).

This would increase your risk of acne by making it more difficult for dead skin cells to be removed from hair follicles, leading to blockages.

Some vitamin-A-based medications for acne are now available with a prescription.

Isotretinoin is one example of an oral retinoid that is effective in treating severe acne. However, this medication can have serious side effects and must only be taken under medical supervision (28Trusted Source29Trusted Source).

SUMMARYThe exact role of vitamin A in the prevention and treatment of acne is unclear. Yet, vitamin-A-based medications are often used to treat severe acne.

5. Supports Bone Health

The key nutrients needed for maintaining healthy bones as you age are protein, calcium and vitamin D.

However, eating enough vitamin A is also necessary for proper bone growth and development, and a deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to poor bone health.

In fact, people with lower blood levels of vitamin A are at a higher risk of bone fractures than people with healthy levels (30Trusted Source).

Additionally, a recent meta-analysis of observational studies found that people with the highest amounts of total vitamin A in their diet had a 6% decreased risk of fractures (30Trusted Source).

Yet, low levels of vitamin A may not be the only problem when it comes to bone health. Some studies have found that people with high intakes of vitamin A have a higher risk of fractures as well (31Trusted Source).

Even so, these findings are all based on observational studies, which cannot determine cause and effect.

This means that currently, the link between vitamin A and bone health is not fully understood, and more controlled trials are needed to confirm what has been seen in observational studies.

Bear in mind that vitamin A status alone does not determine your risk of fractures, and the impact of the availability of other key nutrients, like vitamin D, also plays a role (32Trusted Source).

6. Promotes Healthy Growth and Reproduction

Vitamin A is essential for maintaining a healthy reproductive system in both men and women, as well as ensuring the normal growth and development of embryos during pregnancy.

Rat studies examining the importance of vitamin A in male reproduction have shown that a deficiency blocks the development of sperm cells, causing infertility (33Trusted Source34Trusted Source).

Likewise, animal studies have suggested that vitamin A deficiency in females can impact reproduction by reducing egg quality and affecting egg implantation in the womb (33Trusted Source).

In pregnant women, vitamin A is also involved in the growth and development of many major organs and structures of the unborn child, including the skeleton, nervous system, heart, kidneys, eyes, lungs and pancreas.

Yet, though much less common than vitamin A deficiency, too much vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to the growing baby as well and may lead to birth defects (35Trusted Source36Trusted Source).

Therefore, many health authorities recommended that women avoid foods that contain concentrated amounts of vitamin A, such as pâté and liver, as well as supplements containing vitamin A during pregnancy.

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Vitamin A Uses and Benefits

vitamin A uses

Vitamin A Uses and Benefits

Despite being abundantly available in Vitamin A rich foods, one-third of the world’s children under the age of five, suffer from its deficiency, according to a 2009 World Health Organisation’s global database on Vitamin A Deficiency. This deficiency has also been known to be fatal to kids, and has also been held responsible for causing preventable childhood blindness, particularly in South East Asian and Africa (as per a 2013 report by the National Institutes of Health). Numerous scientific studies have pointed at the health benefits of consuming adequate vitamin A, as part of your daily diet.

Let’s look at some of the important roles and benefits of consuming Vitamin A:

1. Eye Health

Vitamin A is responsible for maintaining eye health, as it converts the light entering our eyes into electrical signals that can be then interpreted by the brain. Additionally, Vitamin A is a component of the pigment rhodopsin, which is found in the retina of the eye and is said to be photosensitive.

2. Improved Immunity

A deficiency of Vitamin A can leave you to be vulnerable to a number of diseases and consuming it ensures that your body’s defences are active. This vitamin is important for maintenance of the mucous lining in the eyes, gut, genitalia and the lungs, and it is also crucial for development of white blood cells that fight infectious diseases.

3. Fights Acne

Acne is a skin problem that involves severe breakout of pimples that are often painful and most often even leave scars behind. Vitamin A is said to prevent development of acne.

4. Healthy Bones

Vitamin A also supports bone development and health and a deficiency of this vitamin has been linked with poor bone health. Some studies have shown that people with low levels of Vitamin A in blood are susceptible to bone fractures.

5. Reproductive Health

Vitamin A is important for maintaining the reproductive health of both men and women, especially the latter by ensuring the proper growth and development of the embryos during pregnancy. Deficiency of vitamin A in an expectant mother’s diet has been linked with birth defects in their kids.

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Vitamin A-Rich Foods | Best Dietary Sources Of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. Vitamin A-Rich Foods | Best Dietary Sources Of Vitamin A are mentioned below.

There are two types of vitamin A that are found in the diet.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy foods.
  • Provitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. It most often comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of preformed and provitamin A. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936685/

Here are the best dietary sources of Vitamin A or retinol (Preformed Vitamin A):

1. Cod Liver Oil

One of the best sources of retinol is cod liver oil, which is commonly consumed in the form of supplements, which has 2000 percent of the Daily Value (DV), as per the data by USDA.

2. Goat Cheese

This low-calorie cheese is also a rich source of Vitamin A. It contains 29 percent of the DV (as per USDA data).

3. Liver

The livers of mammals like cow, lamb, pig etc, are incredibly rich in retinol and can be consumed as part of a non-vegetarian diet to meet requirements of the vitamin.

4. Blue Cheese

Another healthy cheese- blue cheese- is also rich in Vitamin A1 and contains 15 percent of the DV (as per USDA data).

Here are the best dietary sources of carotenoids or Provitamin A:

1. Carrots

Carrots are popular among health nuts for its nutrient riches, among which Vitamin A is found in 104 percent of the DV (as per USDA data).

2. Spinach

This extremely healthy low-calorie veggie is also rich in Provitamin A or carotenoids containing 52 percent of beta-carotene (a type of carotenoid) by DV (as per USDA data).

3. Sweet Potato

This favourite food of the health freaks also contains good amounts of carotenoids- 283 percent of the DV (as per USDA data).

4. Mango

The king of fruits mango also reigns supreme when it comes to supplying your body with Provitamin A. The delicious fruit contains 21 percent by DV of Vitamin A (as per USDA data).

Since Vitamin A is fat-soluble, it will be absorbed better by the body when consumed along with healthy fats. Animal-sources of Vitamin A may be more effective in fighting Vitamin A deficiency as they are also naturally rich in fats. For plant-sources of Vitamin A, make sure you add some amounts of healthy oils like olive oil, canola oil etc. to improve Vitamin uptake.

To find the complete information about Vitamin A: Its functions , deficiency , recommendations click here.

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Vitamin A: Functions and Food sources

Vitamin A: Functions and Food sources:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver.

There are two types of vitamin A that are found in the diet.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy foods.
  • Provitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. It most often comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of preformed and provitamin A. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936685/

Function

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye.

Vitamin A promotes good eyesight, especially in low light. It also has a role in healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Vitamin A is found in two forms:

  • Retinol: Retinol is an active form of vitamin A. It is found in animal liver, whole milk, and some fortified foods.
  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids are dark-colored dyes (pigments). They are found in plant foods that can turn into active form of vitamin A. There are more than 500 known carotenoids. One such carotenoid is beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals.

Free radicals are believed to:

  • Contribute to certain long-term diseases
  • Play a role in aging

Eating food sources of beta-carotene may reduce the risk for cancer.

Beta-carotene supplements do not seem to reduce cancer risk.

Food Sources

Vitamin A comes from animal sources, such as eggs, meat, fortified milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, cod, and halibut fish oil.

However, many of these sources, except for Vitamin A fortified skim milk, are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

The best sources of vitamin A are:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Eggs
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Fortified skim milk
  • Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits
  • Other sources of beta-carotene such as broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables

The more deep the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the amount of beta-carotene. Vegetable sources of beta-carotene are fat- and cholesterol-free. Their absorption is improved if these sources are eaten with a fat.

Side Effects

Deficiency:

If you do not get enough vitamin A, you have more risk of eye problems such as:

  • Reversible night blindness
  • Non-reversible corneal damage known as xerophthalmia

Lack of vitamin A can lead to hyperkeratosis or dry, scaly skin.

High Intake:

If you get too much vitamin A, you can become sick.

  • Large doses of vitamin A can also cause birth defects.
  • Acute vitamin A poisoning most often occurs when an adult takes several hundred thousand IUs of vitamin A.
  • Chronic vitamin A poisoning may occur in adults who regularly take more than 25,000 IU a day.

Babies and children are more sensitive to vitamin A. They can become sick after taking smaller doses of vitamin A or vitamin A-containing products such as retinol (found in skin creams).

Large amounts of beta-carotene will not make you sick. However, high amounts of beta-carotene can turn the skin yellow or orange. The skin color will return to normal once you reduce your intake of beta-carotene.

Recommendations

The best way to get the daily requirement of important vitamins is to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, fortified dairy foods, legumes (dried beans), lentils, and whole grains.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine — Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Recommended Intakes for individuals of vitamin A:

Infants (average intake)

  • 0 to 6 months: 400 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
  • 7 to 12 months: 500 mcg/day

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins is how much of each vitamin most people should get each day. The RDA for vitamins may be used as goals for each person.

Children (RDA)

  • 1 to 3 years: 300 mcg/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 400 mcg/day
  • 9 to 13 years: 600 mcg/day

Adolescents and adults (RDA)

  • Males age 14 and older: 900 mcg/day
  • Females age 14 and older: 700 mcg/day (for females aged 19 to 50, 770 mcg/day during pregnancy and 1,300 mcg/day during breastfeeding)

How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age and gender. Other factors, such as pregnancy and your health, are also important. Ask your health care provider what dose is best for you.

Alternative Names

Retinol; Retinal; Retinoic acid; Carotenoids

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