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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


vitamin A  listen  (VY-tuh-min …)

  A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Vitamin A helps in vision, bone growth, reproduction, growth of epithelium (cells that line the internal and external surfaces of the body), and fighting infections. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils). Vitamin A is found in liver, egg yolks, and whole milk dairy products from animals and in fish oils. It can also be made in the body from a substance found in some fruits and vegetables, such as cantaloupes, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called retinol.