Orange has a low vitamin A content. A glass of orange juice provides only 3% of the recommended daily intake! Furthermore, orange juice doesn’t contain retinol, only carotenoids!
Is orange juice rich in vitamin A?
Orange juice contains alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice contains about 420 mcg beta-cryptoxanthin, 82 mcg beta-carotene, and only 15 mcg alpha-carotene.
Carotenoids in a glass of orange juice are equivalent to 25 mcg of vitamin A. Actually, orange juice has a low vitamin A content. A glass of orange juice can provide us with only 3% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A!
How much vitamin A do we need a day?
The recommended daily dose of vitamin A is 900 mcg and 700 mcg for men and women, respectively.
But, the absorption rate of vitamin A depends on the dietary source. Vitamin A from animal-based foods and supplements is more bioavailable than vitamin A from plant-based foods.
In fact, the recommended daily intake refers to retinol. A form of vitamin A naturally present only in animal-based foods.
Plant-based foods contain carotenoids. The body converts them into retinol. It’s estimated that 12 mg of beta-carotene from food is equivalent to 1 mg of vitamin A (retinol). Beta-carotene is the most abundant and well-absorbed carotenoid. Other carotenoids are less bioavailable. For instance, we have to get 24 mg of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin from food to be converted to 1 mg retinol.
Hence, vegans, vegetarians, and people who follow a plant-based diet should consume much higher dosages of vitamin A.
On the other hand, too much vitamin A from supplements or certain animal-based foods may cause side effects.
Orange juice protects your eyesight
Vitamin A is well-known to protect your vision and skin. Although orange juice contains low amounts of vitamin A, it’s beneficial for the eyes, as they’re particularly high in vitamin C. Just a glass of orange juice contains more vitamin C than the recommended daily intake! Vitamin C is crucial for your eyesight.
Moreover, high doses of both vitamin A and vitamin C are more beneficial for the eye.
So, you could drink fruit juices high in vitamin A, like carrot juice with orange juice, which is particularly high in vitamin C.