Vitamin A

Functions

The body needs vitamin A for:

  • healthy eyesight
  • healthy skin
  • healthy immune system
  • normal growth and development
  • antioxidant properties, helping protect the body from cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • healthy development of a foetus in the womb

Sources

There are two types of vitamin A – retinol and beta-carotene.

Retinol is the name for sources of vitamin A which come from animals, while beta-carotene is the name for sources of vitamin A from plant origin.

Milk, cheeses and butter

Retinol sources include:

  • liver
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • whole milk
  • butter and fortified margarine

Carrots

Beta-carotene sources include:

  • carrots
  • fruits that are orange in colour – for example, oranges and peaches
  • green leafy vegetables – for example, Brussels sprouts