Vitamin A


Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that helps in production of rhodopsin, a protein that makes it possible to see in the dark.The vitamin is important for normal functioning of the skin and the mucous membrane.Vitamin A is an antioxidant that binds to damaging free radicals to protect the cells from oxidative stress and prevent them from taking damage.


Where can you achieve vitamin A from in your diet?

Great food sources are especially liver, fish, eggs and dairy products.Vegetarian sources to look for are dark green vegetables like spinach and kale but alsothe orange fruits and vegetables like abricots, melons and carrots.In the animal food sources the vitamin appears in the form retinol whereas the vegetarian food sources contain the vitamin in the form carotene.The absorption rate of vitamin A fluctuates and can be 70-90 % from animal food sources compared to 9-22 % from the vegetarian sources.

How much vitamin A should you eat in a day?

The daily recommended intake of vitamin A is 700 RE women and 900 RE for men.That is equivalent to 2 carrots or 1 1/2 dl egg yolk.Due to the lower absorption you would need way more vegetarian sources to get a sufficient daily amount of vitamin A so go crazy with those carrots.

Vulnerable groups of vitamin A deficiency

People who eat a very unbalanced diet are at higher risk of deficiency.Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should pay attention to vitamin A rich sources to maintain their daily needs.Elderly people with lower appetite are also potentially at greater risk of not getting enough of the vitamin.

How to avoid deficiency

It is pretty easy to get a sufficient amount of vitamin A if animal sources are a part of the diet.If the diet is plant based make sure to get a lot of green and orange sources on your plate or get more from a supplement.

Signs of vitamin A deficiency

Symptoms could be visual disturbance like night blindness, color blindness or loss of sight.Dry or irritated eyes and mucous membrane,  weakened immune response and skin problems like acne, eczema and poor wound healing.

Go crazy with those carrots.

The absorption rate of vitamin A from the vegetarian sources is only 9-22 %. So you would need a lot of vegetarian sources to get a sufficient daily amount of vitamin A.