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Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) is a fat soluble vitamin that requires fat and minerals to be absorbed.  It comes in two forms, Retinol (preformed vitamin A found in animal foods) and Carotene (provitamin found in plant and animal foods).

Function: Vitamin A has several useful functions in the body that include:

  1. Improved night vision, the counteraction of night blindness and weak eyesight, and treatment of several eye disorders.
  2. Increase resistance to respiratory infections.
  3. Decrease the length of time of diseases.
  4. Promotes growth, strong bones, healthy hair, skin, teeth, and gums.
  5. Helps in the treatment of hyperthyroidism and emphysema.
  6. Can help remove age spots.

Dosage: The most common dosage of vitamin A is between 5,000 and 10,000 IU per day.  Taking more than 50,000 IU can become toxic to adults and more than 18,500 IU can become toxic to infants.  Those taking over 34,000 IU, may notice their skin becoming yellow or orange.

Side effects of too much vitamin A include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurry vision, bone pain, fatigue, headaches, scaly skin, and liver enlargement.

Sources: Carrots, dark green and yellow vegetables, dairy products, yellow fruits, fish liver oil, and liver.

Vitamin A can also be taken in pill form and is often a key component of multi-vitamins.