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Vitamin A & Beta Carotene- Supplements Guide

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient in our body. It is necessary for healthy vision, the immune system and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.

Vitamin A required for regulating the growth and specialization of almost all cells in the human body. It takes part in embryonic development: organ formation during fetal development, normal immune functions, and eye development and vision. 

Deficiency of vitamin A is associated with increased susceptibility to night blindness, infections, thyroid and skin disorders.

New RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) regulations 

Under the new regulations, FDA’s new labelling regulations for foods and dietary supplements vitamin A will be listed on product labels only in μg RAE (retinol activity equivalents) and not IUs.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 700 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents (μg RAE)/day for women and 900 μg RAE/day for men.

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0–6 months*400 mcg RAE400 mcg RAE
7–12 months*500 mcg RAE500 mcg RAE
1–3 years300 mcg RAE300 mcg RAE
4–8 years400 mcg RAE400 mcg RAE
9–13 years600 mcg RAE600 mcg RAE
14–18 years900 mcg RAE700 mcg RAE750 mcg RAE1,200 mcg RAE
19–50 years900 mcg RAE700 mcg RAE770 mcg RAE1,300 mcg RAE
51+ years900 mcg RAE700 mcg RAE

* Adequate Intake (AI), equivalent to the mean intake of vitamin A in healthy, breastfed infants.

Food Sources

Vitamin A is fat-soluble and found in animal products as preformed vitamin A (retinol) in fruit and vegetables as provitamin A carotenoids. 

Animal food sources rich in preformed vitamin A include dairy products, liver, and fish oils. Rich sources of provitamin A carotenoids include orange and green vegetables, such as sweet potato and spinach.

Contraindications- 

pregnancy

Although it is needed to have sufficient vitamin A intake for healthy fetal development requires, excess of preformed vitamin A (such as retinol, animal-based) not recommended. If you check the levels of vitamin A t on prenatal multivitamins it usually drives from beta carotene ( plant-based source) and will be in a lower dosage.

The tolerable upper intake level for vitamin A in adults set at 3,000 μg RAE/day (but it does not apply to vitamin A derived from carotenoids).

References-

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Pazit Azoulay

Pazit Azoulay is a certified naturopath based in London, member of the following regulatory bodies: NNA, CNHC and GNC.
Paz By Nature ltd website is a health & wellness blog aimed to provide inspiration, healthy recipes and information about natural remedies.

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