Vitamin A is a Fat soluble Vitamin. It is stored in the Liver. It helps vision and keeps the body tissues healthy, the skin and mucous membranes and aids cell growth. It is part of the Antioxidant vitamin combo of A,C and E.
Often in skin care products you read about an ingredient called Retinol, this is a form of Vitamin A found in foods of animal origin. Pro-Vitamin A or better known as Beta-carotene is found in fruits and vegetables particularly those which are yellow.
The Beto-carotene is responsible for the pigment in these brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. If consumed in large enough quantities it can turn your skin this colour too!! It is called Carotenosis and this occurred in the late 90’s when children consumed very large volumes of a popular children’s drink it also occurs if you drink a lot of carrot or orange juice. Tanning tablets too work on this principle, it can be harmless in most cases and normal skin colouring will return in a few weeks, however you may experience an upset tummy and flatulence if you consume beta-carotene in these large amounts.
Deficiency signs can include Poor night Vision (which is where the saying that carrots can make you see in the dark comes from) Poor skin condition, dry and flaky or the other extreme of acne. Bumpy skin and slow healing. Frequent coughs and cold and mouth ulcers can occur.
The sources of this Vitamin come from both animals and plants. In animals the sources are from fish liver oil i.e cod liver oil, Liver and eggs and dairy produce. Many margerines are fortified. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and some of it is lost when milk for example is skimmed.
Liver is an excellent source of Vitmin A, it is a food to keep limited to maybe once a fortnight as it can be a source of medications, hormones or antibiotics that the animal has been given through its life.