Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin necessary for the growth and repair of body tissues, bone formation, immune functions, night vision, and normal eye sight. Retinoids are animal sources which are stored in the liver and carotenoids are plant sources which are stored in fat. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin A is 400 mcg/day for children (age 4-8), 600 mcg/day for adolescents (age 9-13) 900 mcg/day for males (over the age of 14) and 700 mcg/day for females (over the age of 14). As with most vitamins and minerals there are certain risks with both a deficiency and too much (toxicity) Vitamin A.

Vitamin A aids in the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids and it is an important antioxidant (protecting the body from damaging substances). As an antioxidant it helps the body fight infection and helps heal wounds. It helps maintain healthy skin (found in many face creams and acne remedies) and mucous membranes.

Animal sources include eggs, dairy products, margarine, liver, and fish.
Plant sources include dark green and orange vegetables (carrots, cantaloupe, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli...), and fortified breakfast cereals.

Steph Wheler