Vitamin A (Retinol) Blood Test
Vitamins (1 Biomarker)
Special instructionsDo not eat for 12 hours prior to your test. Drink plenty of water, if you take medication then you are allowed to take it as you would normally. You should take this test before you take any vitamin or mineral supplements.
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 and mango are all good sources of beta-carotene. The NHS recommends that for adults, (19-64 years) 0.7 mg of vitamin A should be consumed per day for men and 0.6 mg of vitamin A a day for women.
In the UK having a vitamin A deficiency is rare, but more common in developing countries. However, those who suffer from illnesses that affect the way food is absorbed from the gut including coeliac disease, Crohn's disease and cystic fibrosis are at a greater risk of developing vitamin A deficiency.
This test measures the level of vitamin A in your blood.
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