Characteristics of retinol

What is retinol?

It is the form of vitamin A that our body produces in the intestine from animal sources. Retinol is the main form of vitamin A in human diets.

Vitamin A can also be obtained from the so-called vitamin A precursors, that is, from plant carotenes (alpha carotene, beta carotene and gamma carotene), and from xanthophyll beta-critoxanthin.

The human body converts these precursors into retinal (retinaldehyde)  which, in turn, also becomes retinol.

Functions of retinol

spinach contain a lot of retinol

Retinol, in addition to exercising a positive function in food, is used as a cosmetic product for the treatment of numerous skin abnormalities

How to find retinol in food composition tables?

In the tables of nutritional composition we can find the levels of vitamin A of the different foods in the form of their equivalent as retinol.

Retinol rich foods

The following table of plant and animal foods contains the values ​​of vitamin A in the form of retinol (its equivalent) that some foods contain.

It should be borne in mind that vitamin A levels are a function of 100g of food, and that in some cases, that amount is not consumed, either because less amount is really consumed or , on the contrary, because it is consumed much more , so the intake of this vitamin will vary considerably.

Food from plant originEq. Retinol (mg.)
Bran flakes1.4 mg
Kale833 µg
Spinach816 µg
Fennel783 µg
Valerian650 µg
Margarine608 µg
Sorrel583 µg
Swiss chard583 µg
Watercress365 µg
Rye germ340 µg
Escarole333 µg
Broccoli316 µg
Apricot298 µg
Persimmon242 µg
Endive216 µg
Wheat germ160 µg
Lettuce150 µg
Tomato133 µg
Papaya125 µg
Olive oil120 µg
Corn120 µg
Dry plum112 µg
Roasted peanut110 µg
Yellow melon100 µg
Pumpkin100 µg
Pepper100 µg
Soy95 µg
Peache73 µg
White bean67 µg
Tangerine57 µg
Brussels sprout55 µg
Pea50 µg
Asparagus50 µg
Cashew30 µg
Almond23 µg
Walnut10 µg
Sunflower oil4 µg
Food from animal originEq. Retinol (mg.)
Cod liver oil25.5 mg
Chicken liver11.6 mg
lamb liver9.5 mg
Veal liver8.3 mg
Pig liver
Eel980 µg
Butter653 µg
Camembert cheese630 µg
Caviar560 µg
Egg yolk550 µg
Canned tuna370 µg
Emmental cheese343 µg
Tender cheese325 µg
liquid cream 30%275 µg
Eggs202 µg
Oysters93 µg
Goat milk73 µg
Salmon66 µg
Mussel54 µg
Sheep milk50 µg
Cow milk33 µg
Clam33 µg
White fish10-30 µg

punto rojo More information on retinol and vitamin A

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

2 December, 2019

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