Ingredient name: Vitamin A
Chemical Formula: C36H60O2 (Retinyl Palmitate)
Food and Drug Administration Recommended Daily Value: 5,000 IUs/day
Quantity of Vitamin A included in one pouch of Soylent: 5,000 IUs
Vitamin A, which refers to several retinoid compounds, plays a role in a wide variety of processes in the body. Vitamin A can be ingested either through preformed vitamin A compounds (such as retinyl palmitate), or provitamin A compounds.
Vitamin A plays a critical role in eye function. Rod cells, a type of photoreceptor cell in the eye, utilize a protein called rhodopsin in order to detect light. Rhodopsin is itself composed of the protein opsin coupled with a derivative of vitamin A known as an 11-cis-retinal. When rhodopsin absorbs light, the 11-cis-retinal molecule is transformed to a different type of retinoid, known as all-trans-retinal. The transformation triggers the signaling of visual neuron cells, which transmit the corresponding visual stimulus to the brain. As a critical component component of vision, severe vitamin A deficiencies can result in night blindness.
Vitamin A plays roles in a variety of other processes in the body, including immune function, apoptosis (apoptosis is a programmed death of sorts for unneeded cells) and cell-to-cell communication. Vitamin A's primary connection to these various processes lies in its ability to regulate which genetic instructions (which parts of a cell's DNA) are acted upon by the cell.,
Vitamin A compounds are absorbed in the small intestine and transported, like other fat-soluble vitamins, to the liver, where 80 percent of vitamin A is found.
Reason this form chosen
Preformed vitamin A retinyl palmitate has drastically higher bioavailability levels than provitamin A carotenoids.
 Carotenoids, a class of pigments commonly found in carrots, are a type of provitamin A compound.
 Rhodopsin is a member of the G-Protein Receptor Family.
 11-cis-retinal is a cofactor, or non-protein compound that is critical to a protein's function, of rhodopsin.
 "Vitamin A." In Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, 85. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2001. http://plk.tn/1HMaEkp
 In science, this is referred to as gene expression.
 Stipanuk, Martha H., and Marie A. Caudill. "Vitamin A." In Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition, 686. Third Edition ed. St. Louis: Elsevier, 2013.
 Erdman, John W., Ian MacDonald, and Steven H. Zeisel. "Vitamin A." In Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 154. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute, 2012.