Vitamin A is an essential vitamin required for vision, gene transcription, boosting immune function, and great skin health.
A deficiency of vitamin A can lead to blindness and increased viral infection, however, deficiency is only considered a problem in developing countries where it is a leading cause of blindness in children.
Overconsumption of vitamin A can lead to jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, irritability, vomiting, and even hair loss.
About The Types of Vitamin A and Retinol Equivalents
- Vitamin A is available to humans in 2 ways: preformed vitamin A and carotenoids.
- Carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are found in plant foods and have to be converted by the body into vitamin A. (2)
- Preformed vitamin A is found in animal food sources like liver, meat, fish, and dairy. Like carotenoids, the preformed vitamin A also needs to be metabolized by the body into an active form of vitamin A. (2)
- In rare cases certain people cannot convert carotenoids to vitamin A and should consume vitamin A found in animal food sources or supplements. These people should see our lists of meats high in vitamin A, fish high in vitamin A, and dairy foods high in vitamin A.
- Solving the Vitamin A Problem: Since vitamin A comes in many forms, starting from July 2018 large US food producers will report vitamin A values in retinol activity equivalents (RAE) of vitamin A. The new daily value for Vitamin A RAE will be 900μg per day. (2,3)
High vitamin A foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, fish (tuna), winter squashes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, bell peppers, broccoli, and grapefruit. The current daily value for Vitamin A is 900μg of retinol activity equivalents (RAEs).
Below is a list high vitamin A foods, click here for over 200 foods high in vitamin A, sortable by common serving size, 200 calorie serving size, or 100 gram serving size.