"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:
- Supporting bone growth, reproduction and immune system health
- Helping the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively
- Promoting healthy vision
- 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.
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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