Vitamin A Supplements & Information


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Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that promotes good vision, especially night vision, and helps maintain healthy skin, mucous membranes, teeth, and bones. It also helps regulate the immune system which, in addition to healthy skin and mucous membranes, can aid the body in preventing or fighting off disease and viruses.   


Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is essential to the formation of visual purple in the retina, which allows vision in dim light. Beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A found in vegetables, has antioxidant properties, which means it protects cells from the daily toxic damage of oxidation. Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it generates the pigments in the retina.  Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in dim light. It may also be required for reproduction and breast-feeding.   Read more below...


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Beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties, is a precursor to Vitamin A. Antioxidants quench free radicals, which are unstable substances that can react with and damage cells, tissues and organs. Free radicals are believed to be associated with many of the degenerative changes seen with aging. However, it is not yet known whether antioxidants can prevent these changes and studies have been conflicting. For example, one study found increased cancer risk in smokers who took high doses of beta carotene.  With Vitamin A, as with many other vitamins, a certain amount is necessary, but too much is toxic.   vgo to top


Food Sources 

Vitamin A comes from animal sources, such as eggs, meat, milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, cod and halibut fish oil. However, all of these sources -- except for skim milk that has been fortified with Vitamin A -- are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.


The precursor form, beta-carotene, is found in plants. Sources of beta-carotene are carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables. The more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta-carotene content. These vegetable sources of beta-carotene are free of fat and cholesterol.  The body regulates the conversion of beta-carotene to Vitamin A based on its needs.   vgo to top


Side Effects

If you don't get enough Vitamin A, you are more susceptible to infectious diseases and vision problems. However, large doses of Vitamin A can be toxic. Large doses can also cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women.


Increased amounts of beta-carotene can turn the color of skin to yellow or orange. The skin color returns to normal once the increased intake of beta-carotene is reduced.   vgo to top



The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid. 

The FDA's reference daily intakes (RDI) for Vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU).   vgo to top


Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical profession. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.  Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Please review the Terms of Use before using this site.  Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.



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