Vitamin A is the generic term for a family of fat-soluble compounds related to retinol.

Retinol is often referred to as preformed vitamin A. It is found only in animal sources—mainly linked to a fatty acid to form so-called retinyl esters—and in food supplements. In plant-based foods, vitamin A is found in the form of provitamin A carotenoids, primarily as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene and some of the other carotenoids in plants can be converted to become vitamin A in the small intestine. Plant-based carotenoids are therefore known as provitamin A.

Vitamin A Deficiency and Toxicity

Vitamin A deficiency has a large impact on disease and death rate, especially in infants, children and pregnant and lactating mothers. In 2012 the World Health Organization reported that about 250 million preschool children are affected by vitamin A deficiency each year, claiming the lives of 670,000 children under five.

  • Promoting vision.
  • Participating in protein synthesis and cell differentiation (and thereby maintaining the health of epithelial tissues and skin).
  • Supporting reproduction, growth and immune system functioning.

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the Western world, but in developing countries, it is one of the most widespread causes of blindness. Approximately 250,000–500,000 children in developing countries become blind each year as a result of vitamin A deficiency, with the highest prevalence in Africa and Southeast Asia (see Figure below). According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), vitamin A deficiency is "the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness".

The richest food source of preformed vitamin A is liver. Considerable amounts are also found in fish oils, egg yolk, whole milk, butter, and cheese. Provitamin A carotenoids are found in carrots, yellow and dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, broccoli), pumpkin, apricots, and melon. The top sources of provitamin A include carrots, broccoli, cantaloupe, and squash.

And at FitBox we aim to provide you with supplements to fill in those missing area of minerals & vitamins. A box on each month full of vitamins & minerals selected for your requirement so that you can complete the sphere of your vital diet requirement.
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About the author: Like many of you 'Shashank Nainwal’ is a pro-health pro-life kind of guy. He never misses out on Gym (now that’s a lie which we all tell!), but, keeping a track of his vitamins/proteins jar was a workout in itself.  Thence, based on his goals, his diet and clearly, with the help of a nutritionist, he found “The Solution” to all his vita-prota-problems.

‘Prasham Bhuta’ is the co-founder of Shashank is his venture of FitBox.