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Vitamin A

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a family of fat-soluble vitamins. Retinol is one of the most usable forms of vitamin A. Retinol is found in animal foods such as liver and eggs and in some fortified food products such as cold cereal.

What does Vitamin A do?

Vitamin A is a very important vitamin. It plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Vitamin A also helps us to see in dim light and is necessary for proper bone growth, tooth development, and reproduction.

Vitamin A and the Immune system

Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system. It helps regulate the immune system by Vitamin A may help lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infections, function more effectively.

What foods provide vitamin A?

Natural (not man made) vitamin A is found in animal foods such as whole eggs, whole milk and liver. Fortified foods such as fortified breakfast cereals also provide vitamin A. Provitamin A carotenoids are abundant in darkly colored fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes vitamin A is lost during the process of storing and cooking foods. By following the directions below, you can help retain the vitamin A in your foods.

  • Keep vegetables (except sweet potatoes and winter squash) and fruits covered and refrigerated during storage
  • If possible, serve fruits and vegetables raw.
  • Steam vegetables
  • Braise, bake, or broil meats instead of frying. Vitamin A is lost in the fat during frying.

Too Much Vitamin A

More than 50,000 IU a day can cause joint pain, hair loss, itching, dry skin, weakness and fatigue.

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