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Vitamin A

About

Vitamin A (retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin found in animal products such as eggs, dairy, liver and kidneys. It is important for the normal reproduction of cells (cellular differentiation) as well as good vision and the proper development of an embryo and foetus.

What might a low result mean?

Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dry eyes, night blindness, skin problems, infections, diarrhoea and lung disorders.

How might I improve my result?

Low vitamin A levels can be improved by incorporating more foods rich in vitamin A into your diet. There are 2 main forms of vitamin A, active vitamin A and beta-carotene. Active vitamin A or ‘retinol’ comes from animal-derived foods and can be used directly by the body. In contrast, the other form of vitamin A, ‘provitamin A’ is obtained from fruits and vegetables in the form of carotenoids, which the body converts to retinol after food is eaten.

Cheese, eggs, lamb and beef liver, as well as oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and trout, are all great sources of active vitamin A. Coloured fruit and vegetables including spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, mango, papaya and apricots are all good sources of beta-carotene.