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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Vitamin A has several important functions

image from here

Vitamin A, is also known as retinol, and has several important functions.

These include:
helping your body's natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system) work properly
helping vision in dim light
keeping skin and the lining of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy

Good sources of vitamin A (retinol) include:
oily fish
fortified low-fat spreads
milk and yoghurt
liver and liver products such as liver pâté – this is a particularly rich source of vitamin A, so you may be at risk of having too much vitamin A if you have it more than once a week (if you're pregnant you should avoid eating liver or liver products)

You can also get vitamin A by including good sources of beta-carotene in your diet, as the body can convert this into retinol.

The main food sources of beta-carotene are:
yellow, red and green (leafy) vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers
yellow fruit, such as mango, papaya and apricots

How much vitamin A do I need?
The total vitamin A content of a food is usually expressed as micrograms (µg) of retinol equivalents (RE).

The amount of vitamin A adults aged 19 to 64 need is:
700 µg a day for men
600 µg a day for women

You should be able to get all the vitamin A you need from your diet.

Any vitamin A your body does not need immediately is stored for future use. This means you do not need it every day.

What happens if I take too much vitamin A?
Some research suggests that having more than an average of 1.5 mg (1,500 µg) a day of vitamin A over many years may affect your bones, making them more likely to fracture when you're older.

This is particularly important for older people, especially women, who are already at increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones.

If you eat liver or liver pâté more than once a week, you may be getting too much vitamin A.

Many multivitamins contain vitamin A.
Other supplements, such as fish liver oil, are also high in vitamin A.

If you take supplements containing vitamin A, make sure your daily intake from food and supplements does not exceed 1.5 mg (1,500 µg).

If you eat liver every week, do not take supplements that contain vitamin A.

If you're pregnant
Having large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. So if you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, do not eat liver or liver products, such as pâté, because these are very high in vitamin A.

Also avoid taking supplements that contain vitamin A. Speak to your GP or midwife if you would like more information.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?
You should be able to get all the vitamin A you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take a supplement that contains vitamin A, do not take too much because this could be harmful.

Liver is a very rich source of vitamin A. Do not eat liver or liver products, such as pâté, more than once a week.

You should also be aware of how much vitamin A there is in any supplements you take.

If you're pregnant or thinking of having a baby:
avoid taking supplements containing vitamin A, including fish liver oil, unless advised to by your GP
avoid liver or liver products, such as pâté, as these are very high in vitamin A

Women who have been through the menopause and older men, who are more at risk of osteoporosis, should avoid having more than 1.5mg of vitamin A a day from food and supplements.

This means:
not eating liver or liver products, such as pâté, more than once a week, or having smaller portions of these
taking no more than 1.5mg of vitamin A a day in supplements (including fish liver oil) if you do not eat liver or liver products
not taking any supplements containing vitamin A (including fish liver oil) if you eat liver once a week

Having an average of 1.5mg a day or less of vitamin A from diet and supplements combined is unlikely to cause any harm.
Words above taken from here

The above is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.

Regular readers will know … there is a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


J.P. Alexander said...

buena entrada muy completa. Te mando un beso y ten una buena semana

Christine said...

Very important vitamin!

Rose said...

Interesting information...I wish I could retain all you share with us.

Tom said...

...important to know.

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you.
No supplemental Vitamin A here - or liver.

Margaret D said...

It's interesting to read and as you say eat too much vitamin A and it can cause problems, a balanced diet is always good.

Icy BC said...

I eat most of the veggies and fruits listed in your post! Thank you for such important info!

Hope you are well!

Jo said...

An interesting post.

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for the valuable information! Valerie

Miss Val's Creations said...

Great information Jan. An important vitamin for us all.

Laura. M said...

Gracias por la estupenda la información que nos das siempre
Buen martes para Todos. Cuidaros.
Un abrazo.

Inger said...

Thanks for all the work you put into this blog, it's very informative and helpful.

DVArtist said...

Very good post on Vit. A. Well all of your posts are very good. LOL Have a great day.

Teresa said...

Muy interesante tu reportaje de hoy. Besos.

Sue said...

Very useful article Jan, thank you x

happyone said...

Great information, thanks so much.

Hootin Anni said...

I do like my veggies...but liver, not so much. So I guess that leaves me from overdosing on vitamin A. Helpful informative post.

Bill said...

Good information, thanks for sharing.

This N That said...

Good information. Thanks

William Kendall said...

Very informative.

Diane said...

Very interesting and informative article Jan.

Hugs diane

Hilly Nicolay said...

I watch the vitamins in the food.
I learned something here again, thank you.


Phil Slade said...

Very interesting. Especially the advice about too much Vitamin A, or in fact too much of any one food. Moderation in all thoings I guess. Must tell Sue about all that gin she drinks.

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Muito importante a vitamina A na nossa saúde.
Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa

Bob Bushell said...

Great info Jan.

Snowbird said...

Most informative. Thanks

carol l mckenna said...

Very informative post for supplemental A vitamin if needed ~ Xo

Living moment by moment,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Martha said...

A very important vitamin!

Magic Love Crow said...

It was very interesting to learn about if you have too much Vitamin A. Thanks Jan! Very informative post! Big Hugs!