Vitamin A

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Vitamin A
Vitamins A, C & D

The discovery of vitamin A stemmed from research dating back to 1906, indicating that factors other than carbohydrates, proteins, and fats were necessary to keep cattle healthy. By 1917 one of these substances was independently discovered by Elmer McCollum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Lafayette Mendel and Thomas Osborne at Yale University. Since "water-soluble factor B" (Vitamin B) had recently been discovered, the researchers chose the name "fat-soluble factor A" (vitamin A). Vitamin A was first synthesized in 1947 by two Dutch chemists, David Adriaan van Dorp and Jozef Ferdinand Arens.

Sources of vitamin A

Vitamin A is found naturally in many foods:

Note: bracketed values are retinol equivalences and percentage of the adult male RDA per 100g.

Metabolic functions of vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a role in a variety of functions throughout the body, such as:

  • Vision
  • Gene transcription
  • Immune function
  • Embryonic development and reproduction
  • Bone metabolism
  • Haematopoiesis
  • Skin health
  • Reducing risk of heart disease
  • Antioxidant Activity

See also

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