Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which is needed to facilitate eye, skin, immune system and other bodily functions and development. What Is Vitamin A?
What Is Vitamin A Used For?[1 and 2]
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Increasing sperm count
- Eye problems (glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts)
- Skin problems (acne, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, burns)
- Crohn’s disease
- Kidney stones
- Overactive thyroid
- Cancer prevention and treatment
- Heart and cardiovascular health
- Enhancing the immune system
This is not an exhaustive list. Contact your doctor to find out if vitamin A is right for you.
Vitamin A is available as a supplement in softgels, capsule, tablet and liquid forms. It can be found in multivitamins or on its own. 
Recommended doses are: 
- Infants and children: Check with your child’s pediatrician
- Men: 3000 IU daily
- Women: 2300 IU daily
- Pregnant Women (19 years and up): 2600 IU daily
- Breastfeeding Women (19 years and up): 4300 IU daily
The daily amount of vitamin A that has been generally deemed safe is 10,000 units. If you have specific health issues, check with your healthcare professional for the dosage that is right for you.
Does Vitamin A Work?
Vitamin A seems to work well for: [1 and 2]
- Acute promyelocytic leukemia
- Mortality reduction
- Retinitis pigmentosa (genetic disorder affecting night vision)
- Sun-damaged skin
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Dry eye (Xerophthalmia)
- Cataract prevention
- Parasite and viral infection
- Weight loss
There is not enough evidence to recommend vitamin A for: [1 and 2]
- Facilitating healing following laser eye surgery
- Promoting good vision
- Oral leukoplakia
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Stronger immune system
- Infection prevention and recovery
- Wound healing
- Hay fever
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (premature babies)
- Easing negative effects of chemotherapy
- Colorectal, lung, cervical, pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, skin, and prostate cancer
- Cystic fibrosis
- Liver disease
- Mortality reduction
- Growth promotion
- Respiratory infection
Vitamin A does not seem to work for: [1 and 2]
- Miscarriage prevention
- Infant mortality
- Gastrointestinal cancer prevention
- Cutting the risk of head and neck tumors
- Treating children in poor countries for pneumonia
Research is mixed regarding the use of vitamin A for: [1 and 2]
- Nipple pain due to breast feeding
- Mortality reduction (mother, during pregnancy)
Dietary vitamin A may help to prevent breast cancer, but the jury is still out on similar benefits from supplements.
Vitamin A Deficiency and ToxicityVitamin A deficiency isn’t common in the United States and other industrialized nations, but is still prevalent in other countries. Those who are susceptible are premature infants that already have low levels of vitamin A, women and children in developing countries, and people with cystic fibrosis.
Long-term deficiency can lead to dry eye, night blindness or complete blindness, skin problems, infections, diarrhea, and respiratory problems. [1 and 3]
Deficiency of this vitamin may negatively affect iron levels in the body, as well as its ability to make red blood cells. It also may increase the chances of infection. Supplementation may help. 
As for vitamin A toxicity, it’s also generally rare. If you ingest massive amounts of the vitamin, it could happen, however. Symptoms of short-term toxicity include nausea, headache, fatigue, no appetite, dry skin, brain swelling, skin loss, and dizziness. If you’ve taken excessive amounts of vitamin over the long haul, you may experience dry, itchy, cracking skin, dry lips, headache, bone and joint pain, osteoporosis, hip fractures, mental changes, and skin loss. 
Toxicity in children is represented by irritability, drowsiness, delirium, coma, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, bulging eyeballs, problems with vision, red and peeling skin. 
Note that people with liver disease who also drink excessive amounts of alcohol may have a better chance of suffering liver damage from consuming vitamin A supplements. 
Are There Any Interactions with Medication Associated with Vitamin A?
Do not take the following medication with vitamin A without the advice of a qualified healthcare provider: [1 and 3]
- Bile acid sequestrants (they lower LDL cholesterol)
- Oral contraceptives
- Mineral oil
- Cancer treatment medications
- Tetracycline antibiotics
- Hepatotoxic agents
- Synthetic forms of vitamin A (Soriatane and Targretin, for example)
Side Effects and Safety Issues Associated With Vitamin A
- Take only as directed to avoid toxicity or deficiency
- Do not take vitamin A if you are allergic to it or any of the other ingredients used with it in supplements. 
- If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, dairy, and foods fortified with vitamin A, you do not need to take a vitamin A supplement. 
- Possible side effects of vitamin A may include psoriasis, cracked fingernails and lips, hair loss, skin irritation and dryness, diarrhea, perisinusoidal fibrosis of the liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, cough, fever, respiratory infection, risk of lung cancer, HIV transmission (via breast milk), and death. 
- Be careful when administering vitamin to children and babies.
- If you have fat malabsorption syndromes, intestinal infections, serious protein energy malnutrition, or liver disease avoid taking vitamin A. 
- Do not take excessive amounts of vitamin A or beta-carotene if you are at risk of getting lung cancer. 
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not take more than the recommended amount of vitamin A. Overdoing vitamin A can cause birth defects and other problems. 
- Higher than recommended doses may lead to osteoporosis and hip fractures.
- Taking high doses of antioxidants may not be beneficial. They may actually be harmful. 
- Do not take vitamin A if you have “Type V hyperlipoproteinemia,” a type of high cholesterol. 
- Herbs and supplements aren’t subject to strict government regulations, so strength, purity, effects, and safety may vary according to the batch or brand.
- Supplements can act like drugs if they are used in large amounts.
- Although we don’t sell vitamin A, you can compare quality and price of a variety of brands here at PricePlow.com.
- Please note that we are not doctors. We take no responsibility for the products listed here since we don’t manufacture them.
- Consult other reputable sources such as scientific journals for information on vitamin A before use. Educate yourself about what you put into your body!
- Regular exercise, a healthy diet and overall healthy lifestyle can have a significant, positive effect on your body and mind.
- “Vitamin A (Retinol);” MayoClinic.com
- “Vitamin A;” WebMD.com
- “Vitamin A;” Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet; Office of Dietary Supplements; National Institutes of Health
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