Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and an antioxidant that plays a role in preventing cancers and helping eyes adjust to light changes. It is also important for bone growth, tooth development, reproduction, and regulation of the immune system.

How much do I need?

  • 700 micrograms per day for adult women
  • 900 micrograms per day for adult men

For recommendations for infants, children, and teens, check out the chart in CSU Extension’s Fact Sheet: Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, and K.

Food Sources

Vitamin A is found in animal products such as dairy, liver, and fish. Beta-carotene, a nutrient the body converts into vitamin A, is found in fruits and vegetables that are dark green or orange in color, such as carrots, pumpkinswinter squash, spinach and apricots.

What happens if I don’t get enough?

Deficiencies of vitamin A are rare in the United States but most common in developing countries due to malnutrition. Dry, rough skin and night blindness can occur with too little vitamin A. Low levels of vitamin A can also lead to poor tooth development, slow bone growth and less resistance to infections.

Can I get too much?

Vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means it can be stored in the body for long periods of time. Toxicity doesn’t usually occur when vitamin A comes from food, but extra caution should be used with supplements. Too much vitamin A can cause dry, itchy skin, headaches, nausea and a loss of appetite. Excessive amounts can also cause dizziness, blurred vision and slowed growth.

Did You Know?

Half a sweet potato provides 700 micrograms of vitamin A! Try adding this tasty vegetable to your meals:

  • Toss slices in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for homemade sweet potato chips
  • Make stuffed sweet potatoes with fruit and cinnamon
  • Try twice baked sweet potatoes adding fat free cream cheese on top
  • Roast cubed sweet potatoes and red pepper slices and add to a bed of spinach