Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin A
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A (RDA)is the approximate amount needed per day for the body to function optimally.
It is measured as Retinol Equivalent (RE) / day. Retinol equivalent is the unit in which the activity of vitamin A is measured,
just as you would measure the performance of an engine in horse power. 1 RE of vitamin A is equivalent to 3.33 International Units (IU) of vitamin A or 6mg of beta carotene or 12mg of other carotenoids.
. Alpha carotene has 1.5 times the activity of beta carotene.
The Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin A was set at a maximum of 1000 RE/day by the Food and Drug Administration in the US. In Europe, this is also put at 500 to 1000 RE per day. In the UK, the average Vitamin RDA is 700 RE/day for males and 600 RE / day for females.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin A (same as the RDA) in males is slightly higher than for females, though during pregnancy, expectant mothers require about 100 RE of vitamin A more than usual.
Breast feeding mothers requires even higher amount of vitamin A intake. Up to 700 RE extra during lactation has been advised because the lactating child also needs vitamin A for adequate growth and development, which it can only get from the mother.
To put things into perspective, one average size carrot contains about 2000 RE of Vitamin A. This alone is over twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin for any age.
The good thing here is that carrots and other fruits and vegetables have vitamin A in form of carotene which does not cause toxicity, even in very high dose. It could only cause what is called hypercarotenaemia (high levels of carotene in the blood, leading to a yellowish hue on the skin or tan colouration).
One spear of broccoli has about 230 RE of vitamin A, which means that you will need about two to four spears of broccoli to provide the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.
Generally, your daily requirement (RDA) of vitamin A can be met by eating half a fruit of peach, or a stick of carrot, or two tablespoonful of pumpkin, or four spears of broccoli, or three spears of asparagus or one quarter cup of spinach.
Pregnant women, children and the elderly are at particular risk of low intake of vitamins, and these groups of people needs to be given adequate amounts of vitamin A. If you thin you may not be taking enough vitamin A, why not speak to your doctor who can do a blood test to ascertain your body’s vitamin A level. See supplements to augment your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A
Please see the links below for more information on vitamin A :
All about Vitamin A
Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin a supplements
Vitamin A and Acne
Vitamin A deficiency
Vitamin A Overdose
All other Vitamins