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Types of Vitamin A, Deficiency & Resources

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What is vitamin A?

A set of chemical molecules that are fat-soluble and necessary for certain bodily processes is referred to as vitamin A.

The primary forms of vitamin A are:

Retinol:- The most physiologically active and accessible form of vitamin A is retinol.

It is mainly present in foods that come from animals, like liver, dairy products, and fish oils.

Retinol is necessary for cell growth, immune system health, and vision.

Retinal:-Vitamin A refers to a group of fat-soluble chemical compounds required for specific biological functions.

Provitamin A carotenoids: are turned into vitamin A by your body. They are found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant:-based products. The most common provitamin A carotenoid in foods and dietary supplements is beta-carotene.

Although vitamin A is a necessary ingredient, it’s still crucial to consume it in moderation because too much of it can be hazardous. Age, sex, and life stage all affect the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A.


Inadequate consumption or absorption of vitamin A in the body results in vitamin A insufficiency.

Following are a few typical causes and consequences of vitamin A deficiency:


Inadequate dietary intake: A diet lacking in foods rich in vitamin A, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and animal sources like liver and fish oils, can contribute to deficiency.

Malabsorption: Certain medical conditions that affect the absorption of dietary fats, such as celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and certain pancreatic disorders, can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A.

Alcoholism: Excessive alcohol consumption can impair the body’s ability to convert provitamin A carotenoids into the active form of vitamin A.

Vitamin A deficiency occurs when there is an inadequate intake or absorption of vitamin A in the body. It can lead to a range of health problems and is considered a significant public health issue in many developing countries. Some common causes and effects of vitamin A deficiency include:


Vision impairment: Vitamin A is essential for preserving good vision, particularly in low-light situations.

Night blindness (nyctalopia), which impairs vision in low light or at night, can result from deficiency.

Xerophthalmia: A severe vitamin A deficiency can lead to a disorder known as xerophthalmia, which causes the cornea to become dry, thick, and ulcerated.

It can result in irreversible blindness if neglected.

Immune system dysfunction: Vitamin A is essential for boosting the immune system.

Lack of it can weaken the immune system, leaving people more vulnerable to infections, particularly respiratory illnesses and the measles.

Food sources

There are many dietary sources of both preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids.

Preformed vitamin A is more readily absorbed and utilized by your body than plant-based sources of provitamin A carotenoids.

Your body’s ability to effectively convert carotenoids, such as beta carotene, into active vitamin A depends on many factors – including genetics, diet, overall health, and medications.

For this reason, those who follow plant-based diets – especially vegans – should be vigilant about getting enough carotenoid-rich foods.

Foods highest in preformed vitamin A include:

1.egg yolks

2.beef liver



5.chicken liver


7.cheddar cheese

8.liver sausage

9.king mackerel


Foods high in provitamin A carotenoids like beta carotene include:

1.sweet potatoes





6.collard greens

7.winter squash


9.papaya peppers


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