Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins required by the body for operation. Like all other vitamins (except for Vitamin C), it is not necessary to take large amounts but minute amounts are essential and without them, serious problems can arise.
Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye for light-absorbing functions. It also is used in an oxidized form as retinoic acid and is an important hormone-like growth factor among kids and adolescents in the epithelial and other cells.
The daily intake of Vitamin A varies from age group. Among infants age 0-6 months its recommended that 400 μg/day. 7-12 months, the intake is upped to 500 μg/day. Children 1-3 years is recommended to take between 300-400 μg/day while 4-8 year old children increase their allowance to 400-500 μg/day. Males 9-13, 600 μg/day, 14-18 900 μg/day, and 19-70+ 900-1200 μg/day.
Among females 9-13 years, 600-900 μg/day, 14-18 years 700-1000 μg/day, 19-70+ 700-1500 μg/day. For those who are pregnant and under 19 years of age, 750-1100 with a max intake of 2800 μg/day. 19-50+ pregnant woman 770-1200 with a max intake of 3000 μg/day.
The sources of Vitamin A is wide and can be found in such things as the liver of pork, beef, turkey and fish. In the vegetable kingdom it can be found in cantaloupe, broccoli, sweet potato, kale, spinach, pumpkin and mango.
Deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to major problems especially blindness in children. Between 250,000 and 500,000 children in developing countries become blind each year due to deficiency in Vitamin A. The lack of consumption of yellow and green veggies can lead to Vitamin A deficiency.