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EFSA advises vitamin A intake of 650 μg for women and 750 μg for men

Sweet red peppers are among the vegetables rich in the vitamin A precursor β-carotene

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published dietary intake guidance for vitamin A following a request from the European Commission.

In a scientific opinion published March 5 by EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies, it set Population Reference Intakes (PRIs) – which should cover the physiological needs of most of the healthy population  – of 750 µg retinol equivalent RE/day for men and 650 µg RE/day for women.

It set average requirements (ARs) for vitamin A ranging from 190 µg RE/day in infants aged 7–11 months to 580 µg RE/day in boys aged 15–17 years.

Vegetables and fruit rich in Vitamin A precursor

EFSA said the term vitamin A comprises retinol and the family of naturally occurring molecules associated with the biological activity of retinol, as well as provitamin A carotenoids that are dietary precursors of retinol.

It said foods rich in retinol include offal and meat, butter, retinol-enriched margarine, dairy products and eggs, while foods rich in β-carotene – which the human body can convert into vitamin A (retinol) – include vegetables and fruit, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet red peppers, mangoes and melons.

Vitamin A intake in the EU

Dietary surveys in nine EU countries found average vitamin A intake ranged between 816–1,498 μg RE/day in adults and 597–1,078 μg RE/day in children aged 10–18 years.

Read the EFSA document here.