Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. It may also be needed for reproduction and breast-feeding. High vitamin A foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, fish, liver, and tropical fruits.

Carotenoids are dark-colored dyes (pigments) found in plant foods that can turn into a form of vitamin A. There are more than 500 known carotenoids. One such carotenoid is beta-carotene.

The BCM01 gene is associated with the conversion of beta-carotene from plant sources to vitamin A. People who are heterozygous for certain versions of the BCM01 gene have 69% reduced capacity to metabolize vitamin A to its active form - retinal

Vitamin A deficiency (decreased serum vitamin A) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by increased serum beta-carotene. This results from decreased conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency has been implicated in Macular degeneration, blindness, and other eye disorders but has numerous other health implications, even on the immune system.

Related to:
retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, provitamin A carotenoids, beta-carotene.