When eating the colors of the rainbow, bulk up on red, orange, and yellow produce! These sweet vegetables provide our bodies with essential vitamins and minerals. Today we will focus on one essential vitamin found in warm tone produce: vitamin A. This vitamin supports embryo development, eye lubrication, immunity, fertility, skin texture, and vision.
What Is Vitamin A?
An essential vitamin consumed through omnivorous diets to support various body functions. It supports five primary functions throughout our body systems:
- Development: involved in signaling meiosis in developing embryos
- Immunity: involved in the production of white blood cells
- Reproduction: required for the production and development of mature spermatozoa
- Skin: sufficient amounts support clear sweat glands, minimizing blemish risk
- Vision: supports the electrical signal sent to the brain when light hits the eye
Because of its involvement in eye, immune, skin, and reproductive health, vitamin A proves vital.
Daily Recommended Intake
The National Institute of Health offers the following daily recommended intakes for average, healthy adults:
- Adult Males: 900 micrograms/day
- Adult Females: 700 micrograms/day
You can consume this vitamin naturally through your diet or through supplementation. Do whatever best supports your individual nutrient sufficiency.
Natural Sources of Vitamin A
We can consume this vitamin through whole foods. See common vitamin A sources below:
- Bell Peppers
- Ricotta Cheese
- Sweet Potato
The precursor to vitamin A—beta-carotene—provides the vibrant red, orange, and yellow color in vegetables. Color allows you to easily identify whole foods rich in this vitamin. Many consume sufficient amounts through whole food, omnivorous diets. However, nutrient gaps may persist.
If you struggle to consume adequate amounts of vitamin A through your diet, consider supplementation! Supplementation exists to close nutrient gaps. If you have concerns about your individual health and vitamin sufficiency, reach out to your healthcare provider!
Can I Take Too Much Vitamin A?
In short, yes.
Vitamins that are fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) are not flushed out of the body as easily as water-soluble vitamins (C and B). Therefore, overconsumption of fat-soluble vitamins may lead to adverse effects.
Does Supplement Brand/Source Matter?
In short, YES!
When supplementing vitamin A, think about the supplement source and absorption mechanism. Some supplements appear more desirable because they offer 10x the daily recommended value, but if more product is present than needed, it does not benefit you. Your body will not absorb the excess.
Seek out supplements that function on liposomal delivery systems. Liposomal delivery increases nutrient absorption by 150% when compared to traditional pill formulas. You are what you absorb!
Vitamin A supports embryo development, eye lubrication, immunity, fertility, skin texture, and vision.
- What Does It Do: involved in various body systems, supporting health and appearance
- How Much Do I Need: adult males—900mcg/day & adult females—700mcg/day
- Natural Sources: red, orange, and yellow vegetables and fish