- A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Retinol 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). Retinol 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. Retinol is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called vitamin A.