All About Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins that the human body requires. This vitamin, also known as retinol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in various foods such as cheese, eggs, dairy products, kale and carrot. By including foods rich in vitamin A in your diet, you get to enjoy various health benefits. As it turns out, this vitamin is crucial for maintaining good vision, improving immunity and regulating cellular activities. It also plays a pivotal role in the normal functioning of the heart, lungs and kidneys. 

No Room Rent Capping | No Medical Check-up up to 55yrs | Tax Benefit up to 75k | Buy Health Insurance starting @ ₹244 pm

Vitamin-A, the name suggests that it must be a singular compound or a single nutrient, however it is used to refer to a range of fat-soluble vitamins including retinal, retinol and retinyl esters. Eating a vitamin-healthy diet is essential for everyday fitness. Vitamins have a lot of health benefits, ranging from everyday fitness to cellular repair. Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins that’s crucial for proper eyesight, immunity and cellular activities. It also plays a role in the normal functioning of heart, lungs and kidneys. Vitamin A is found in the daily fruits and vegetables that we eat. For those who require an extra dose, Vitamin A nutritional supplements are also available in the market.

By the virtue of it being fat-soluble Vitamin A is stored by the body cells and used later. Most of the body's Vitamin A is stored in the liver as retinyl esters. There are mainly two types of Vitamin A that exists in our daily intake:

  • Preformed Vitamin A: It's found only in animal sources like fish, liver, and dairy products.

  • Provitamin A carotenoids: These are found in plant foods, green vegetables, fruits and oils.

After food is ingested, the body processes both of these vitamin types in retinoic acid, which is the most active vitamin form. Beta-carotene is one of the prototypes of Vitamin A that exists in oily fruits. Though itself an antioxidant, the body converts can convert it into Vitamin A when the need arises.

Functions of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for the healthy functioning of a lot of vital organs and normal body processes. It's vital for cellular growth, boosts immunity, maintains eyesight and plays a role in human reproduction as well. Vitamin-A is also important for healthy skin cells and for tissues of skin, bladder, ears and intestines.

Most well-known role of Vitamin A is in maintaining healthy eye-sight. Retinal combines with a protein found in the body to form a molecule called rhodopsin that's crucial for color vision and seeing when lightning is very low.

Health Benefits of Vitamin A

Regular intake of Vitamin A protects the body against various ailments like night blindness, chest and throat infections, stunted growth of children, infertility and dry, rash skin caused due to follicular hyperkeratosis. These are the following benefits that Vitamin A offers:

  • Healthy Skin and Hair

Vitamin A is important for cellular processes and development of all tissues in the body. Vitamin A aids the formation of sebum, an oil that maintains moisture levels in skin and air. Acne is one of the most common skin problems. There are some studies that also suggest that Vitamin A deficiency is also a cause of acne as it leads to abundance of keratin in the body. Some Vitamin A based anti-acne medical prescriptions are now available. Vitamin A for acne medicines are fast-gaining popularity.

  • Strong Immunity

Vitamin A fortifies the body's immune system. It is essential in the formation and functioning of white blood cells that cleanse the blood of harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

  • Healthy Bones

Balanced intake of Vitamin A also supports growth and development of bones. Those with Vitamin-A deficiency are at an increased risk of bone fractures.

  • Healthy Reproduction

Vitamin A keeps the reproductive system healthy in both males and females. It also enables the healthy growth and development of embryo when the woman is pregnant. Vitamin A is also vital in the growth and development of bodily organs and systems of the unborn child, including skeleton, heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, eyes and nervous system.

  • Lower Risk of Lethal Diseases

Due to high antioxidants, fruit and vegetables rich in Vitamin A lower the risk of diabetes, lung cancer and heart diseases. Cellular oxidative stress is one of the major factors for these diseases. Carotenoids in fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that combat against free radicals in the body that abet the oxidation and cause harm to the body.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency in the body is directly linked to a lot of deformities and medical conditions like skin problems, pregnancy complications, infertility, and blindness. As per the WHO, the biggest cause of blindness among children is Vitamin A deficiency. Deficiency of Vitamin A also increases the risk of anemia and post-pregnancy complications in women and stunted growth of a child. It can also make diseases like diarrhea and measles more acute. Vitamin A deficiency is more common in developing countries as compared to developed countries. The main reason is lack of a balanced diet.

Sources of Vitamin A

There are various plant and animal-based sources of both types of Vitamin A: Preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids. Vegetarians and vegans should specially make it a point to eat a carotenoid-rich diet. Foods that are rich in preformed Vitamin A are egg yolk, liver, butter, cheese, fish and cod liver oil. Carrots, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, cabbage, red pepper and collard greens are some of the fruits and vegetables rich in Provitamin-A carotenoids.

Here’s a table for better understanding:


Percent (Daily Value)

Micrograms (mcg) RAE per serving

Pan fried Beef liver (3 ounces)



Sweet potato baked in skin (1 whole)



Frozen or Boiled Spinach (½ cup)



Pumpkin pie (1 piece)



Raw Carrots (½ cup)



Wrapping Up

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vital nutrient that's crucial for healthy eye-sight, skin, hair, immunity, strong bones, healthy reproduction and normal growth of children. Deficiency of Vitamin A is associated with a lot of medical complications and diseases. Consuming a balanced amount of Vitamin A is very important for a healthy body. That's why Vitamin A food should be regularly consumed. Those who are unable to include the required amount of Vitamin A day in their daily diet should consult a doctor on whether they need Vitamin A supplements. While you read about adding the right amount of Vitamin A to your diets, it is equally vital to secure your health from adversities and your wallet from hefty medical bills. This is when an affordable Health Insurance comes to your rescue.

Health Insurance Plans Available at Bajaj Markets