Vitamin A: Reference and Dietary Sources

Concentrations of preformed vitamin A are highest in liver and fish oils. Other sources of preformed vitamin A are milk and eggs, which also include some provitamin A. Most dietary provitamin A comes from leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomato products, fruits, and vegetable oils.

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Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Reference and Dietary Sources

Food sources of thiamin include whole grains, meat, and fish. Breads, cereals, and infant formulas in the United States and many other countries are fortified with thiamin. The most common sources of thiamin in the U.S. diet are cereals and bread. Pork is another major source of the vitamin.

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Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Reference and Dietary Sources

The largest dietary contributors of total riboflavin intake are milk and milk drinks, bread and bread products, mixed foods whose main ingredient is meat, ready-to-eat cereals, and mixed foods whose main ingredient is grain.

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Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Reference and Dietary Sources

Niacin is present in a wide variety of foods. Many animal-based foods—including poultry, beef, and fish—provide about 5-10 mg niacin per serving, primarily in the highly bioavailable forms of NAD and NADP. Plant-based foods, such as nuts, legumes, and grains, provide about 2-5 mg niacin per serving, mainly as nicotinic acid.

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Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): Reference and Dietary Sources

Some of the richest dietary sources of pantothenic acid are beef, chicken, organ meats, whole grains, and some vegetables. Limited data indicate that the body absorbs 40%–61% (or half, on average) of pantothenic acid from foods.

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Vitamin B6: Reference and Dietary Sources

Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources of vitamin B6 include fish, poultry, beef liver and other organ meats, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, fruit (other than citrus), and fortified cereals. About 75% of vitamin B6 from a mixed diet is bioavailable.

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Folate (Vitamin B9): Reference and Dietary Sources

Folate is naturally present in vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables), fruits and fruit juices, nuts, beans, peas, seafood, eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry, and grains. Spinach, liver, asparagus, and brussels sprouts are among the foods with the highest folate levels.

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Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Reference and Dietary Sources

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. Fortified foods vary in formulation.

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Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): Reference and Dietary Sources

Omega-3s come from animal and plant origins. Plant sources include flaxseed (linseed), soybean, and canola oils. Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines, contain higher amounts of omega-3s, whereas bass, tilapia and cod, as well as shellfish contain lower levels.

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