Vitamin A

The A-B-C's of Vitamin Supplements

Peer Reviewed

Girl with a glass of milk in her handVitamin A is also known as retinol, which can be found in many products available today used to promote healthy skin. In fact, this vitamin is essential to the formation of skin and new tissue. Products containing this vitamin resource are used to reduce the effects of acne and psoriasis, to help heal wounds, reduces scarring, corns and calluses, and to prevent wrinkles.

Additionally, it is an immune system booster, which can assist the body to combat viruses and infections. Vitamin A also benefits eyesight. It may be used to help treat night blindness.

Dosage Guidelines
Building up the body's storehouse of vitamin A insures healthy bones, skin, and a strong immune system. The liver is the body's storage facility and is capable of storing large amounts of vitamin A. This enables the body to fight off infection quickly.

To make sure an adequate amount of vitamin A is consumed each day, consider these guidelines.
Vitamin Table

  • These guidelines should not be ignored.
  • Too much vitamin A may be fatal, or at least toxic.
  • Alcohol consumption increases the toxicity of vitamin A.

Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is easy to include in a daily diet. Meat (especially beef and chicken liver) and dairy (milk, cheese, even butter) products are a primary source for this vitamin. Adequate vitamin A can be obtained by eating the right amount of protein daily. Adults should eat at least 7 ounces and children at least 4 ounces of protein every day.

Orange and dark-green leafy vegetables are another excellent source that provides the benefits of beta-carotene (antioxidant properties). When beta-carotene is consumed, it is converted into vitamin A in the liver.

Since many multivitamins and supplements may contain vitamin A, check product labeling to prevent a potential overdose. This is especially true if supplements are taken specifically for acne, colds, or the immune system. Check with your nutritional specialist to receive the amount right for your system.

Important Cautions
Some prescription medication may cause an interaction with the use of vitamin A. Be sure to talk with your prescribing doctor before taking Vitamin A (eg, supplement). For example, when taken with oral contraceptives, the level of retinol may increase in the blood.

Although prenatal vitamins contain vitamin A, pregnant women should not take additional amounts of this vitamin. It is dangerous to the fetus and is known to cause birth defects.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 03/08/16
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Thomas G. Lowe, MD
While some patients have reported improvement after taking this supplement, the Editorial Board is unable to endorse the supplement due to the lack of peer reviewed scientific literature indicating its efficacy for treating spinal conditions. Patients should consult their physician before starting a supplement program.
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