Signs that your body indicates it needs vitamin A

Vitamin A is an important nutrient for many body functions, not just for eyesight. Here are the signs that indicate you are not getting enough vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes eye health, but not only. It is also very important for the immune system. According to the Nutrition Source, vitamin A stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, participates in bone remodeling, and regulates the growth and cell division necessary for reproduction.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that vitamin A helps the heart, lungs, and other organs function properly. When you are not getting enough vitamin A, your body can send several signals.

Difficulty seeing in low light.

According to the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, the most common sign of vitamin A deficiency is an eye condition called xerophthalmia. Xerophthalmia is the inability to see in low light and can lead to blindness if left untreated.

2. Dry skin

With vitamin A deficiency, the skin may be missing a key nutrient that helps repair the skin. This can result in experiencing dry, flaky skin, says nutritionist Lauren Manaker Manaker via Well+Good.

3. Weak immune system

The NIH indicates that a long-term vitamin A deficiency can also lead to an increased risk of respiratory illnesses (such as pneumonia) and infections.

4. Wounds are slow to heal

While vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients that aid in wound healing, vitamin A also plays a role in collagen synthesis and, thus, the ability to heal wounds.

5. Anemia

Vitamin A deficiency can also cause anemia (a condition in which red blood cells do not supply enough oxygen to the body). “In severe cases, not getting enough vitamin A can increase your chances of dying,” share the NIH.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods such as:

  • Some types of fish, such as herring and salmon.
  • Beef liver and other organ meats. The liver is too rich in vitamin A, so its consumption should be limited.
  • Green leafy vegetables and other green, orange, and yellow vegetables, such as spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and winter squash.
  • Fruits, including melons, mangoes, and apricots.
  • Dairy products, such as milk and cheese.
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Eggs

The amount of vitamin A a person needs depends on age and sex. An adult woman requires 700 micrograms (mcg) and an adult man 900 mcg daily.

As a reference, a half cup of boiled spinach provides 573 mcg of vitamin A. One serving of liver (3 ounces) provides 6,582 mcg of vitamin A, equivalent to 731% of the recommended daily intake. Because of its vitamin richness, organ meat consumption should be limited to small amounts.

The body stores excessive amounts of vitamin A. Regular and abundant liver consumption can cause toxicity called hypervitaminosis A.