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Vitamin A

The A-B-C's of Vitamin Supplements

Peer Reviewed

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Vitamin A Basics

Vitamin 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 assists the body to combat viruses and infections. Vitamin A also benefits eyesight; in fact it can be used to 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.

  • Adults - no more than 25,000 IU per day
  • Children - no more than 10,000 IU per day

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

Sources

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 provide the benefits of beta-carotene (antioxidant properties). Taking beta-carotene (tablets/capsules) is a good alternative to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is water-soluble and therefore is not stored in the body.

Since many multivitamins and supplements may contain Vitamin A, check labeling to prevent possible overdosing. 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. Remember adults should not exceed 25,000 IU per day - children 10,000 IU per day unless under the supervision of a medical professional.

Cautions

Since some prescription medication may cause an interaction with the use of Vitamin A, consult with your medical professional first. For example, when taken with oral contraceptives the levels 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.

Updated on: 02/06/10
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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