Vitamins are the essential micro nutrients needed to be consume in small quantity to sustain life. Here is the list of Top 10 source of Vitamin A. All the vitamins are source of carbon that make the organic compound. These vitamins cannot be synthesized in our body either at all or not in required quantity. So we must intake these crucial micro nutrients through foods from plants or animals. These vitamins are body’s builders, defenders and maintenance workers helping it to build muscles, bones, make use of nutrients, capture, use energy, and heal wounds. In this blog we will be looking good Veg source of vitamin A and Non Veg Source of Vitamin A.

Types of Vitamin

Vitamins are categories on the basis of solubility in our body. The two category of vitamins are

  • Lipid Soluble Vitamin
  • Water Soluble Vitamin – Vitamin C and B

The difference between these two type of vitamins determines how the body transport, stores vitamins and gets rid of excess.

The water-soluble vitamin C and B complex vitamins are dissolved in the watery part of the fruit, vegetable and grains. So their passage through the body is relatively straight forward. Once they are in our body they gets digested and vitamins within them are taken up directly by our blood stream because blood plasma is water based. So water-soluble vitamins moves freely in our body. The systems ability to circulate water-soluble vitamins in blood stream easily means that most of them can be passed out from the body equally easily via kidney. Due to this most of the water soluble vitamins need to be replenished on the daily basis through the food we eat throughout the day.

The Lipid Soluble vitamins dissolved in fat and found in dairy product, cheese and oil. These vitamins make it in our body through stomach and intestine, where bile (substance flowing from liver) breaks up the fats and preparing vitamins for absorption through in intestinal walls. Because fat soluble vitamins cannot make the use of blood’s watery nature they required proteins. Proteins attached to the vitamins and act like couriers and move them into the blood stream and body. These fats soluble vitamins can stored in our liver and fat cells for a longer period of time. Our body make use of these type of vitamins as and when required, as they are stored in our body, we should not overload on these type of vitamins.

Function of different vitamins in our body

  • Vitamin A – Needed for Vision, Skin, tooth growth, mucous membrane
  • Vitamin B – Needed for nerve function, energy metabolism, digestive system, making red blood cells,
  • Vitamin C – Needed for protein metabolism and iron absorption
  • Vitamin D – Needed for absorption of calcium
  • Vitamin E – Work as antioxidant and protect cell walls
  • Vitamin K – Needed for blood clotting

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a lipid soluble vitamin. The three forms of vitamin A are retinol (alcohol form, retinal (aldehyde form and retinoic acid (acidic form). These all three are also known as vitamers of vitamin A. Most of the vitamin A is stored in our liver in the form of retinyl ester, whenever our body requires it the ester form breaks in retinol i.e. alcohol form of vitamin A and released in our blood. The retinol moves in our body with the help of RBP protein (retinol binding protein) and transthyretin.

Top 10 Function of vitamin A

The functions in which Vitamin A assist are:

  • Improved Vision Vitamin A has an ability to enhance your vision and keep your eyes healthy. The rhodopsin molecule in the Vitamin A activated when light falls on the retina, sending signals to the brain that causes vision. It also has beta carotene that prevents macular degeneration (a cause of night blindness).
  • Reproduction and Development –Retinol (Alcohol form of Vitamin A) helps our body in reproduction mechanism and also in the development of baby. Not only this Vitamin A is crucial for the development and proper growth throughout all stage of life span. It is also considered as best vitamins for women also during pregnancy, especially with regards to lung function and maturation.
  • Improved Immune Mechanism and Tissue Repair-Vitamin A has an important role in our immune system and beneficial for keeping infection and illness away. Deficiency of Vitamin A stops the regeneration process of mucosal barriers, resulting in increased chances of being infected. Vitamin A is essential in cell regeneration and tissue repairing and it assist in wound healing also.
  • Works as Antioxidant – Beta Carotene found in the Vitamin A acts as a strong antioxidant. It reduce the generation of harmful radicals and preventing oxidative damage to the cell. It also have anti-inflammatory effect which prevent us from inflammatory chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
  • Improved Skin Health –As Vitamin A has anti-inflammatory effects it is used in the treatment of a range of skin issues. The retinoids of vitamin A can treat common skin problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis. Along with this vitamin A improves wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.

Deficiency of Vitamin A

Since we know that Vitamin A is vital for healthy vision, skin, Immune system etc, it’s deficiency could cause major issues in our body. People who suffered from leaky gut syndrome, immune disorder, inflammatory disease, and pancreatic issues are likely to have Vitamin A deficiency.

It has ocular and extra ocular manifestation.

  • Night Blindness –Deficiency of Vitamin A causes night blindness that makes it to difficulty of vision in low light conditions. It is also know as nyctalopia. Some type of night blindness can be treated and other cannot. A person should consult his doctor to find the cause of night blindness and take treatment as per the cause.
  • Xeropthalmia or Dry Eye – Deficiency of Vitamin A limits the tear secretion and it leads to dry eyes problem. The normal function of Vitamin A also included differentiation of epithelio cells and this function lost or reduces due to deficiency of Vitamin A.
  • Bitot’s Spot –Deficiency of Vitamin A will also leads to dryness of conjunctivan which is knows as conjunctiva xerosis and there will be also keratinization of cornea. When the debris of keratinization (keratin) deposit over cornea it become bitot’s spot. Moreover if the condition persist and become severe the cornea become rough end and eroded which damaged the cornea and ends ultimately to the blindness.
  • Infertility and Trouble Conceiving –Vitamin A plays a key role in reproduction in both male and female and it is important for proper development of kids. If you are facing trouble in getting pregnant or miscarriage than Vitamin A deficiency could be a cause for it. Vitamin A deficit male and female can encounter infertility issues also.
  • Poor Immunity and Wound healing –Getting infected or ill very frequently could be a reason of Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A also helps in the formation of collagen so if your wounds are not healing properly after any injury or surgery than it could be a reason that your body is vitamin A deficit.

Toxicity of Vitamin A

Taking high dose of any nutrient is know as toxicity and high dose of Vitamin A may become harmful for our health. Consuming too much Vitamin A could be through supplement or animal liver. The Toxicity of Vitamin A could also cause vomiting, nausea, irritability, appetite loss, and jaundice. You must consult with your doctor while taking any supplements of Vitamin A and people who have kidney and liver disorder or who consume alcohol heavily must consult with the professional care prior taking Vitamin A supplements. Toxicity of Vitamin A is also known as Hypervitaminosis A.

How much vitamin A ?

The recommended doses of Vitamin A is 5000 IU (International Unit) per day for the adults and over the age of four. The international unit of retinol is about 0.3 μg of retinol equivalents (RAE). One international unit of beta carotene is about 0.15 μg of RAE. The recommended daily allowance RDA of Vitamin A  is 900 mcg for Men and 700 mcg for women per day and for kids and teenagers it is recommended from 300mcg to 600 mcg per day. However the upper limit of Vitamin A which can cause toxicity is 10000 IU or 3000 mcg.

Source of Vitamin A

As earlier mentioned about the retinoids of Vitamin A. The Alcohol form of Vitamin A retinol is found only from animal source.

Top 10 Source of Vitamin A – Non-Vegetarian are

  1. Beef Liver – 1 slice: 6,421 mcg (713% DV*) 100 grams: 9,442 mcg (1,049% DV)
  2. Lamb Liver – 1 ounce: 2,122 mcg (236% DV) 100 grams: 7,491 mcg (832% DV)
  3. Liver Sausage – 1 slice: 1,495 mcg (166% DV) 100 grams: 8,384 mcg (923% DV)
  4. Cod Liver Oil – 1 teaspoon: 1,350 mcg (150% DV) 100 grams: 30,000 mcg (3,333% DV)
  5. Salmon – Half a fillet: 229 mcg (25% DV) 100 grams: 149 mcg (17% DV)
  6. Tuna Fish – 1 ounce: 214 mcg (24% DV) 100 grams: 757 mcg (84% DV)
  7. Goat Cheese – 1 slice: 115 mcg (13% DV) 100 grams: 407 mcg (45% DV)
  8. Camembert – 1 wedge: 92 mcg (10% DV) 100 grams: 241 mcg (27% DV)
  9. Trout – 1 fillet: 71 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 100 mcg (11% DV)
  10. Hard-boiled egg – 1 large egg: 74 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 149 mcg (17% DV)

Top 10 Source of Vitamin A – Vegetarian are

  1. Sweet Potato – 1 cup: 1,836 mcg (204% DV) 100 grams: 1,043 mcg (116% DV)
  2. Winter Squash – 1 cup: 1,144 mcg (127% DV) 100 grams: 558 mcg (62% DV)
  3. Kale (cooked) – 1 cup: 885 mcg (98% DV) 100 grams: 681 mcg (76% DV)
  4. Carrot (cooked) – 1 medium carrot: 392 mcg (44% DV) 100 grams: 852 mcg (95% DV)
  5. Sweet Red pepper – 1 large pepper: 257 mcg (29% DV) 100 grams: 157 mcg (17% DV)
  6. Spinach – 1 cup: 141 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 469 mcg (52% DV)
  7. Mango – 1 medium mango: 181 mcg (20% DV) 100 grams: 54 mcg (6% DV)
  8. Pink and Red grapefruit – 1 medium grapefruit: 143 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 58 mcg (6% DV)
  9. Watermelon – 1 wedge: 80 mcg (9% DV) 100 grams: 28 mcg (3% DV)
  10. Papaya – 1 small papaya: 74 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 47 mcg (5% DV)

*DV: Daily Value