Did you know that Vitamin A is essential for the basic physiological processes needed for growth, vision, reproduction, pre conception, pregnancy and a growing child?

Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids that are essential for your babies heart, lung, kidney, eyes, bone, circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems as they develop.

According to a study documented by Veroniques et al, 2000 inadequate amounts of vitamin A during pregnancy, can lead to embryo abnormalities associated with the lung, cardiac and urogenital systems.

Veroniques et al, 2000 also reported that vitamin A, in the form of retinol is essential for mid gestation for the survival of the fetus.

The researchers found that a severe lack of retinol, male sperm quality was severely affected, leading to infertility.

Did you know that circulating retinol values for your baby is always 50% lower to that of the mothers?  This means that if the mother is deficient there is a risk to the baby’s development and survival.

Vitamin A is not only essential for the development of baby, but also for mum during pregnancy, and after birth.   Adequate levels of vitamin A help with the repair of tissue after birth, helps fight infection and the immune system.


Where can I get vitamin A (retinol) that is used directly by the body?

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Cod liver oil
  • Salmon
  • King mackerel
  • Bluefin tuna
  • Goat cheese and cheddar
  • Butter


Some other produce that our body can get vitamin A from, but our bodies need to convert from the carotenoids found in plants to retinol, these include:


  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Collards
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Red capsicum


How much Vitamin A is needed on average?

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin A [5]
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–6 months* 400 mcg RAE 400 mcg RAE
7–12 months* 500 mcg RAE 500 mcg RAE
1–3 years 300 mcg RAE 300 mcg RAE
4–8 years 400 mcg RAE 400 mcg RAE
9–13 years 600 mcg RAE 600 mcg RAE
14–18 years 900 mcg RAE 700 mcg RAE 750 mcg RAE 1,200 mcg RAE
19–50 years 900 mcg RAE 700 mcg RAE 770 mcg RAE 1,300 mcg RAE
51+ years 900 mcg RAE 700 mcg RAE

*Adequate Intake (AI), equivalent to the mean intake of vitamin A in healthy, breastfed infants.


During pregnancy you should not exceed your daily intake of Vitamin A, but note that the recommended value can be calculated per week.  For example if you were to have more on one day than that of another day, as long as it balances for a week this is ok.

According to the world health organization (WHO), women are more susceptible to vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy.  The WHO encourages pregnant women to make sure they are having an adequate nutrition intake through a balanced and healthy diet.

It is not recommended by the WHO, that supplementation is needed for women that are able to eat an adequate diet.  Supplementation is only recommended for women where vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem, such as areas of underdeveloped countries.  If you are unsure please ask one of our nutritionists at studio-you for more information.



National Insitutes of Health office of Dietary Supplements, USA.gov.  Sited 6th of March, 2020.  https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/

World Health Organization, sited 6th of March 2020. https://www.who.int/elena/titles/full_recommendations/vitamina_supp/en/

Veroniques, A-B., Gerard, P 2000.  Vitamin A in pregnancy: requirements and safety limits. ‘The American Journal of Clinical Nutriotion’, 71(5): 1325S-1333S