What Is Vitamin A & Why Do We Need It?
Published November 22, 2012
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is an essential nutrient that comes from eggs, meat and fish.
Some fruit and vegetables contain an orange pigment, known as betacarotene, that your body can convert into Vitamin A.
Your body stores Vitamin A in your liver and fat tissue.
Why your body needs Vitamin A
Vitamin A is vital for eye health. It helps to make the eye pigment that allows you to see in dim light and maintains the tissue in the outer lining of the eyes.
It’s also important for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails, keeps bones, teeth and joints strong, and assists cell development.
If you’re low in Vitamin A, you may have dry, rough, flaky skin, flaky scalp, poor night vision, dry eyes, nose or throat.
By supporting a healthy immune system, Vitamin A helps your body to fight infections.
Dietary sources of Vitamin A
Liver, kidneys, egg yolks, fish liver oils and oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon are good sources. Vitamin A can also be found in margarine and full-fat dairy products, such as butter, cream, milk and cheese.
Following a low-fat diet or some medical conditions, can reduce your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin A and betacarotene.
In these instances, Vitamin A supplements may be beneficial.
Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, seek advice from your healthcare professional.