Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and was the first vitamin discovered.
Vitamin A is a family of compounds that includes retinol, retinal, and beta carotene.
Beta carotene also is called provitamin A, since it can be converted in the body to vitamin A.
Both vitamin A and beta carotene are available in supplement form.
Cancer: Ample intakes of vitamin A and beta carotene are associated with reduced risk of developing certain forms of cancer.
Infectious Disease: Children with low vitamin A levels are more likely to contract measles and develop complications. Beta carotene might stimulate the immune system and protect against infection and disease.
Vision: Optimal intake of beta carotene or other carotene-like compounds, such as lycopene or lutein found in vegetables, might reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in seniors.