Detailansicht für den Begriff

Name des Begriffes: Vitamin A

Short introduction

  • Vitamin A is the term for fat-soluble compounds related to retinol. It is found in animal sources.
  • Carotenoids, as β-carotene, can be converted to vitamin A (provitamin A, antioxidant). It is found in plant sources.

Main natural sources

  • Preformed vitamin A: liver, fish (oils), milk and eggs.
  • Provitamin A: orange, yellow and leafy green vegetables.

Main function

  • Essential for proper functioning of the visual system.
  • Role in growth and differentiation (cells become more specialised) of epithelial cells (the safety shields of the body that line cavities and cover flat surfaces): skin, mucous membranes (line and protect inside of body), blood vessel walls and cornea (transparent front part of eye).
  • Involved in embryonic development.
  • Important for proper functioning of the immune system.

Deficiency disease

  • Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is a common health problem in low and middle-income countries.
  • Most common symptom in young children and pregnant women is xerophthalmia, a destructive dryness of the eye that may lead to blindness.
  • Top cause of preventable blindness in children.
  • Impaired immune functions. This may e.g. increase the severity of infections (diarrhoea, measles).
  • In pregnant and lactating women: e.g. increased maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, anaemia risk, slower infant growth and development.

Recommended daily intake

Latest Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) 
Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Age categoryPer day
Pregnancy
14 – 18 years
19 – 50 years
750 µg (RDA)
770 µg (RDA)
Lactation
14 – 18 years
19 – 50 years
1200 µg (RDA)
1300 µg (RDA)
Infants  6 – 12 months500 µg (AI)
Children
 1 – 3 years
 4 – 8 years
300 µg (RDA)
400 µg (RDA)
Males
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
600 μg (RDA)
900 μg (RDA)
900 μg (RDA)
900 μg (RDA)
900 μg (RDA)
900 μg (RDA)
Females
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
600 μg (RDA)
700 μg (RDA)
700 μg (RDA)
700 μg (RDA)
700 μg (RDA)
700 μg (RDA)

 

As retinol activity equivalent (RAE) 1 RAE = 1 μg retinol.
AI = Adequate Intake.
RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance.

Synonyme: Retinol, Preformed Vitamin A

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