Trait #74:

Vitamin A Requirement

Are you at an increased risk of Vitamin A deficiency?

The science

Vitamin A is a key micronutrient that supports a wide range of biological processes, including the maintenance of healthy eyes and skin, the production of red blood cells, and the functioning of our immune system.

Although we can obtain all the Vitamin A we need from food sources, Vitamin A ingested from fruit and vegetables must first be converted into its active form before it can be used.

The conversion of Vitamin A into its active form is carried out by the BCMO1 enzyme.

Variants of the gene that produces the BCMO1 enzyme, aptly named the BCMO1 gene, can alter its activity.

Studies have found that carrying two specific risk variants within the BCMO1 gene can reduce BCMO1 enzyme activity by more than half compared to non-carriers.

With reduced enzyme activity comes an increased required intake of Vitamin A to ensure that the above biological functions can be properly carried out.

Trait classifications

By identifying the specific BCMO1 gene variants that they carry, all FitnessGenes members are placed into one of three possible trait classifications relating to their required Vitamin A intake:

  • Average requirement
  • Moderately increased requirement
  • Increased requirement

Recommended actions

All three trait classifications include a collection of personalised lifestyle, nutrition and exercise-related actions to help our members increase their levels of active Vitamin A.

One of the most popular actions amongst FitnessGenes members with increased Vitamin A requirement is to increase their intake of dairy, fish and organ meat products. These sources contain preformed Vitamin A which does not need converting by BCMO1 before it is used.

Vegans and vegetarians should also consider supplementing with preformed Vitamin A if they find that they carry genetic variants associated with reduced BCMO1 activity.

Learn more

Download an example Vitamin A requirement trait report to preview the insights and actions that you may receive.
*Not personalised - DNA analysis or DNA upload required.

For a full understanding of the functions that Vitamin A supports, its various active forms and the BCMO1 variants that influence its conversion, read the Vitamin A requirement science blog.

Discover your personal traits

This is just one of 100+ traits that you can unlock with the FitnessGenes DNA analysis.

From a single saliva sample, you can also discover your personal traits relating to:

Vitamins and minerals requirement

Muscle growth and performance

Sleep quality and duration

Metabolic efficiency

Overeating and obesity risk

Aerobic capacity

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