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4 Reasons Your Body Needs Vitamin A
Published: 03/05/2013

"Vitamin A" is the blanket term for retinoids, biologically active compounds that occur naturally in both plant and animal tissues. Vitamin A is important for many functions, including:

  1. Supporting bone growth, reproduction and immune system health
  2. Helping the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively
  3. Promoting healthy vision
  4. Slowing declining retinal function in people with retinitis pigmentosa

Vitamin A is fat-soluble, and has potential for toxicity if supplementing with retinols. The best natural food sources of vitamin A are their precursors, the carotenoids, found in fruits and vegetables, including carrots, spinach, kale, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. In supplement form, I recommend 15,000 IU of mixed carotenoids daily. Look for products that contain beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin as part of an antioxidant formula.

Find out which vitamins are right for you.
Everyone's dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more. To find out what vitamins you need, take the Weil Vitamin Advisor. This 3-step questionnaire requires just minutes to complete, and generates a free, no-obligation vitamin and nutritional supplement recommendation that is personalized to meet your unique nutritional needs.

Getting Enough Vitamin A in Your Diet?
Dr. Weil recommends eating well for optimal health – including getting as many vitamins and nutrients through your diet as you can. Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging is a good place to start: we are your online guide to the anti-inflammatory diet, with dozens of food guides, hundreds of recipes, and weekly nutrition tips. See how simple healthy eating can be – start your 14-day free trial now and save 30% when you join!

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