Vitamin A (Retinol) Test - Normal, High, Low

A normal vitamin A blood level indicates that a person currently has sufficient vitamin A but does not indicate how much is stored in reserve. The body will maintain vitamin A in the blood at a relatively stable level until stores are depleted.

A low vitamin A blood test result indicates that all reserves have been depleted and the person is deficient.

A high vitamin A blood level typically indicates that the capacity to store vitamin A has been exceeded and excess vitamin A is now circulating in the blood and may be deposited in other tissue, leading to toxicity.

Here is a table from the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) updated Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) and Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin A in 2001. The calculation of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) is each μg RAE corresponds to 1 μg retinol, 2 μg of β-carotene in oil, 12 μg of “dietary” beta-carotene, or 24 μg of the three other dietary provitamin-A carotenoids.[44]

Life stage
U.S. RDAs or
Adequate Intakes, AI,
retinol activity equivalents (μg/day)
Upper limits,
UL* (μg/day)
Infants 0–6 months 400 (AI) 500 (AI)
7–12 months 600 600
Children 1-3 years 300 600
4-8 years 400 900
Males 9-13 years 600 1700
14-18 years 700 2800
>19 years 700 3000
Females 9-13 years 600 1700
14-18 years 700 2800
>19 years 700 3000
Pregnancy <19 years 750 2800
>19 years 770 3000
Lactation <19 years 1200 2800
>19 years 1300 3000
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.