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MICHELLE COOPER: Next, we're going to talk about vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that's stored in the fatty tissues of our body; therefore, we don't need a continuous supply of this. Vitamin A is abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots and spinach, but is also found in animal sources like meats and milk. In fact, the animal source of vitamin A is better absorbed than the vegetable source. Because it is stored in the fat, vitamin A can be toxic; therefore, you don't want to take supplements of vitamin A. It's always better to eat your vitamins when possible and to avoid any type of toxicity that could result from taking an excessive amount. Vitamin A deficiency is rarely seen in developing countries. One of the first signs of a vitamin A deficiency would be night blindness because vitamin A plays an important role in vision. It also plays an important role in cell differentiation and reproduction. Therefore remember, vitamin A is fat-soluble. You don't want to exceed your RDA or take a supplement if you're getting enough through your diet. You don't need it on a daily basis because it is stored in the fat. Number two, it can be toxic and it can have some detrimental toxicity signs associated with it. A deficiency is rarely seen in developing countries--I mean, in developed countries; and if it is, it's usually resulting in some sort of night blindness. Good sources of vitamin A can be found in plants and animals but the animal sources such as meat and milk are better absorbed.



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