vitamin A: regulate the metabolism of bone narrow
Vitamin A is an essential, fat-soluble vitamin found naturally in both animal and plant sources. Fat-soluble means that the vitamin will dissolve in fatty foods. Fat-soluble also means that the vitamin will be stored in the fat in the body. Because it is stored in the body, it is not necessary to replenish it on a daily basis, as is necessary with water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A occurs in two forms: retinol and retinoids. The active form of the vitamin, called retinoids, is found naturally in animal products. The inactive form (also called Òpreformed” or ÒprevitaminÓ), called carotenoids, is found naturally in plant sources. Inactive forms of the vitamin are converted in to the active form in the body where it is then used in a number of functions.
What Vitamin A Does
Food Sources of Vitamin A
Some food sources high in Vitamin A include: liver (beef, pork, poultry and fish), carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, butter, spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, cantaloupe, eggs, apricots, papaya, mango, peas and broccoli. Generally, if a fruit or vegetable is bright orange or red or dark green, it is a good source of vitamin A. A sweet potato has a higher vitamin A content than a carrot. Animal liver is thought to be the best natural source of Vitamin A providing over 700% of the recommended daily value (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Vitamin A is measured in IU which are international units.
How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?
Adults need 2310 IU to 3000 IU per day but in pregnancy those values rise to 2500 IU to 2565 IU. During breastfeeding, the amount of vitamin A that is needed is between 4000 IU and 4300 IU.
Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin A Toxicity
Toxicity is rare. Symptoms include anorexia, nausea, jaundice, blurry vision, vomiting, drowsiness, headaches and muscle/abdominal pain. An intake of over 100,000 IU per day for more than six months is necessary for toxicity to occur. Symptoms showing less toxicity include fever, dry mucous membranes, fatigue, weight loss, bone fractures, hair loss, anemia, and diarrhea. Because vitamin A competes for receptors on bone with vitamin D, it’s possible that higher than normal levels of vitamin A consumed for long periods of time could cause osteoporosis, but this has only been proven in animals not humans.
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