Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods. It’s most well-known as the vitamin important for your eyesight, and it helps to protect your eyes from degeneration, dryness and disease.
Another benefit of this important vitamin is that it helps your body’s overall immune system to work properly, fighting off illness and infection. This is partly because it is a powerful antioxidant – click here to read more about antioxidants!
Because vitamin A is involved in collagen production, it also works as a skin-booster, reducing wrinkles, fighting acne and supporting healthy skin.
A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to problems with the skin and eyes, as well as a greater risk of infections due to a weakened immune system.
Great sources of vitamin A
- Root vegetables, particularly carrots and turnips
- Sweet potatoes
- Greens, such as spinach and kale
- Red bell peppers
- Orange fruits, such as papaya, mango and apricots
Too much, or not enough?
If you consume more vitamin A than you need, it will usually be stored in your body to use later. However, consuming more than an average of 1.5mg a day over many years may negatively affect your bone strength, making them more likely to fracture. This is an especially important consideration for older women, as they are already at risk of bone weakening through osteoporosis.
You should be able to get enough vitamin A through a healthy diet, and as an excess can cause negative effects, it may be best to steer clear of taking vitamin A supplements unless they approved by your doctor.