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How Much Vitamin A Should You Have in a Day?

Vitamin A is produced by your body from pigments such as beta-carotene, which is found in green leafy, as well as yellow and orange vegetables. It can also be consumed directly as a supplement. Vitamin A is very important in maintaining healthy vision, immunity and gene expression during development. The recommended daily serving for women 2,300 international units.

Vitamin A is used to produce the photopigment that allows your retinas to detect light and convert it into electrochemical signals that your brain can understand. Vitamin A is also essential for the maturation of immune cells in the blood and their response to infections. In children, vitamin A is needed for the orderly progression of gene expression, which drives development. Pregnant women need plenty of vitamin A to support the normal progression of gene expression in their unborn baby.

The recommended daily consumption of vitamin A for women is easily achieved if you take a multivitamin that you can absorb well. These vitamins typically contain around 5,000 international units of vitamin A, which exceeds the recommended dose women, leaving some room for incomplete absorption. If you do not take a multivitamin or are not sure if it is properly absorbed, dark colored vegetables, fish oil, eggs, milk, butter and fortified cereals are also good sources.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding require a higher daily intake of vitamin A, as they are consuming both for themselves and their child. Women require 2,500 international units per day during pregnancy. During breast-feeding, mothers require 4,000 to 4,333 international units per day. There is no separate recommendation for women with multiple children. These women should consult their doctor to ensure that both they and their children are receiving adequate vitamin A.

Large amounts of vitamin A can cause birth defects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Too much vitamin can also cause illness. This usually occurs from taking supplement with large doses of vitamin and is less likely when you eat foods rich in vitamin A. Illness tends to occur when an adult takes 25,000 international units or more of the vitamin A per day. Always talk to your doctor about the appropriate amount of vitamin A for you, as well as whether supplements are appropriate or not.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.