Vitamin A For Vision


A vitamin is a vital nutrient that your body needs to function. Without vitamins, your body would not be able to produce energy and keep your immune system working. Vitamins are found in food sources, and they can also be synthesized in the laboratory.

Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for vision. It is also known as retinol and retinaldehyde. It plays a role in helping your eyes adjust to different lighting conditions and helps prevent night blindness. It also helps maintain normal epithelial tissue in your eyes, which protects them from infection.

There are two forms of vitamin A: retinoids (vitamin A compounds) and carotenoids (the pigments that give fruits their color). The two forms of vitamin A are chemically identical, but their effects on our bodies differ slightly because they are absorbed differently by our intestines.

Retinoid Compounds

Retinoids are synthesized by plants as anti-oxidants and as a defense against harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites that might enter their cells through exposed membranes such as those found at leaf tips or stomata openings (which allow plants to breathe).

Vitamin A For Vision

Vitamin A is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth. There are two types of vitamin A. This entry is primarily about the active form of vitamin A — retinoids — that comes from animal products. Beta-carotene is among the second type of vitamin A, which comes from plants.

The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including beta-carotene, by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than from supplements until more is known about the risks and benefits of supplementation.

High doses of antioxidants (including vitamin A) may actually do more harm than good. Vitamin A supplementation alone, or in combination with other antioxidants, is associated with an increased risk of mortality from all causes, according to an analysis of multiple studies.

Can Supplements Improve Eye Health and Vision?

Why do people take vitamin A?

Topical and oral retinoids are common prescription treatments for acne and other skin conditions, including wrinkles. Oral vitamin A is also used as a treatment for measles and dry eye in people with low levels of vitamin A. Vitamin A is also used for a specific type of leukemia.

Vitamin A has been studied as a treatment for many other conditions, including cancers, cataracts, and HIV. However, the results are inconclusive.

Most people get enough vitamin A from their diets. However, a doctor might suggest vitamin A supplements to people who have vitamin A deficiencies. People most likely to have vitamin A deficiency are those with diseases (such as digestive disorders) or very poor diets.

How much vitamin A should you take?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) includes the vitamin A you get from both the food you eat and any supplements you take.

CategoryVitamin A: Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) in micrograms (mcg) of Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)
1-3 years300 mcg/day
4-8 years400 mcg/day
9-13 years600 mcg/day
14 years and up700 mcg/day
Pregnant14-18 years: 750 mcg/day 

19 years and over: 770 mcg/day
BreastfeedingUnder 19 years: 1,200 mcg/day19 years and over: 1,300 mcg/day
14 years and up900 mcg/day

The tolerable upper intake levels of a supplement are the highest amount that most people can take safely. Higher doses might be used to treat vitamin A deficiencies. But you should never take more unless a doctor says so.

(Children & Adults)
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) of Retinol* in micrograms (mcg) of Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)
0-3 years600 mcg/day
4-8 years900 mcg/day
9-13 years1,700 mcg/day
14-18 years2,800 mcg/day
19 years and up3,000 mcg/day

* There is no upper limit for vitamin A from beta-carotene.

Can you get vitamin A naturally from foods?

Getting enough vitamin A can easily be obtained through a healthy diet.

Good food sources of retinoid vitamin A include:

  • Eggs
  • Whole milk
  • Liver
  • Fortified skim milk and cereals

Plant sources of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and apricots.

What are the risks of taking vitamin A?

  • Side effects. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include dry skin, joint pain, vomiting, headaches, confusion.
  • Interactions. If you take any medicines, ask your doctor if vitamin A supplements are safe. Vitamin A supplements may interact with some birth control pills, some blood thinners,  some oral acne medicines, cancer treatments, and many other drugs.
  • Risks. Don’t take more than the RDA of vitamin A unless your doctor recommends it. High doses of vitamin A have been associated with birth defects, lower bone density, and liver problems. People who drink heavily or have kidney or liver disease shouldn’t take vitamin A supplements without talking to a doctor.
Vitamin A: foods, functions, how much do you need & more | Eufic

vitamin a foods for eyes

7 Vitamin A Rich Foods That Are Good For Your Eyesight

Your eyes are the windows to the world; unfortunately, we tend to exploit and overuse them by watching computer and mobile screens for longer hours. It is very important to take care of your eyes and keep them healthy in order to reduce the risk of developing eye conditions like cataract, glaucoma, poor night vision and dry eyes. To ward off the risk, it is imperative to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in vision. It helps the surface of the eye, reducing the risk of developing infections. A lack of vitamin A may cause the cornea to become very dry, leading to clouding of the front of the eye and, in some cases, vision loss. So if you are not loading up on enough vitamin A for the day, you must include these foods to keep your eye health in check.

7 Vitamin A Rich Foods That Are Good For Your Eyesight

Vitamin A rich foods that help keep your eyes healthy

1. Carrots

One of the richest sources of vitamin A is carrot. It is said that just one carrot has over 200 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, plus it has got other essential nutrients like vitamins B, K, and C, as well as fibre and magnesium.

2. Peaches

The yummy fruit is said to have about 10 percent of vitamin A, but they are said to be super healthy for your eyes. Make sure you add some peaches to your diet.

3. Apricots

These delicious and sweet fruits are the perfect go-to snacks and are packed with vitamin A and other important nutrients and antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy.

4. Spinach

Spinach is yet another food that has a good amount of vitamin A along with iron that keeps your eyes healthy. Just one cup of spinach can give you 100 percent of vitamin A.

5. Mangoes

Mangoes may be high in sweetness and calories, but one mango doesn’t harm; in fact, it can only help keep your eyes healthy. A cupful of mangoes can give you upto 35 percent of vitamin A.

6. Papaya

Papaya has got tons of nutrients and minerals along with antioxidants and enzymes that are beneficial for your overall health. It is said that papayas give 29 percent of your daily value of vitamin A.

7. Red bell peppers

You heard us! Add red bell peppers to your food more often, as it they give you about 75 percent of vitamin A along with lycopene and vitamin C that help keep your eyes and health in check.

Check for any allergies before switching to these foods or consult a doctor who will be able to tell you better about your vitamin A deficiency.

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