Vitamin A Dosage Guide + Max Dose, Adjustments

For the treatment of acne, the most prescribed retinoid drug is 13-cis retinoic acid . Although it is known that 40 mg of isotretinoin will break down to an equivalent of 10 mg of ATRA — the mechanism of action of the drug remains unknown and is a matter of some controversy. Isotretinoin reduces bacterial numbers in both the ducts and skin surface. This is thought to be a result of the reduction in sebum, a nutrient source for the bacteria. Isotretinoin reduces inflammation via inhibition of chemotactic responses of monocytes and neutrophils.

Regulatory T cells are important for prevention of an immune response against “self” and regulating the strength of the immune response in order to prevent host damage. Together with TGF-β, Vitamin A promotes the conversion of T cells to regulatory T cells. Without Vitamin A, TGF-β stimulates differentiation into T cells that could create an autoimmune response. The European Food Safety Authority refers to the collective set of information as Dietary Reference Values, with Population Reference Intake instead of RDA, and Average Requirement instead of EAR.

People who eat a lot of foods containing beta-carotene might have a lower risk of certain kinds of cancer, such as lung cancer or prostate cancer. But studies to date have not shown that vitamin A or beta-carotene supplements can help prevent cancer or lower the chances of dying from this disease. In fact, studies show that smokers who take high doses of beta-carotene supplements have an increased risk of lung cancer.

Beef Liver


Β-Carotene and other food carotenoids that can be converted by the body into retinol are referred to as provitamin A carotenoids . Hundreds of different carotenoids are synthesized by plants, but only about 10% of them are capable of being converted to retinol . The following discussion will focus mainly on preformed vitamin A compounds and retinoic acid. Vitamin A tablets and supplements are also available, but it’s better to get your intake through a variety of food sources rather than through vitamin A supplements.

Supplement labels usually indicate the percentage of each form of the vitamin. Multivitamin supplements typically contain 750–3,000 mcg RAE (2,500–10,000 IU) vitamin A, often in the form of both retinol and beta-carotene. Retinol and carotenoid levels are typically measured in plasma, and plasma retinol levels are useful for assessing vitamin A inadequacy. However, their value for assessing marginal vitamin A status is limited because they do not decline until vitamin A levels in the liver are almost depleted .

Related To Vitamins & Supplements

The age of onset of symptoms ranged from 2.5 to 5.5 months and included anorexia, hyperirritability, occipital edema, pronounced craniotabes, bulging fontanels, increased intracranial pressure, and skin lesions and desquamation. The lowest dose associated with a bulging fontanel involved a 4-month-old girl given a daily dose of 24 drops of AD-vimin (about 5,500 μg of vitamin A) for 3 months. The other three cases involved a dose of 6,750 μg/day of vitamin A for 1 to 2.5 months. Increased intracranial pressure and bulging fontanels were observed in these cases as well. Other effects observed at the higher dose included anorexia, hyperirritability, occipital edema, pronounced craniotabes, skin lesions, skin desquamation, epiphyseal line changes, and cortical hyperostosis on x-rays.

Medications For Skin Conditions Retinoids Interacts With Vitamin A

The body cannot make vitamin A and must rely on dietary sources of vitamin A. Meat sources provide vitamin A , while vegetable and fruit sources provide carotene . Vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat tissues (it is fat-soluble), and healthy adults may have as much as a year’s worth stored.

Eat Better And Exercise Smarter Sign Up For The Food & Fitness Newsletter

This condition can be reversed by discontinuing beta-carotene ingestion. RAE can only be directly converted into IUs if the source or sources of vitamin A are known. For example, the RDA of 900 mcg RAE for adolescent and adult men is equivalent to 3,000 IU if the food or supplement source is preformed vitamin A or if the supplement source is beta-carotene. This RDA is also equivalent to 18,000 IU beta-carotene from food or to 36,000 IU alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin from food.

Therefore, a mixed diet containing 900 mcg RAE provides between 3,000 and 36,000 IU vitamin A, depending on the foods consumed. Mild to moderate deficiencies are treated with supplements and/or with alterations in diet. More severe deficiencies may require monitored therapeutic doses of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is a risk factor for severe measles; treatment with vitamin A can shorten the duration of the disorder and may reduce the severity of symptoms and risk of death. Surgery either on the intestine or pancreas can have the similar consequences. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many of the foods we eat.

The most common and readily recognized symptom of vitamin A deficiency in infants and children is xerophthalmia. Concentrations of preformed vitamin A are highest in liver and fish oils . Other sources of preformed vitamin A are milk and eggs, which also include some provitamin A . Most dietary provitamin A comes from leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomato products, fruits, and some vegetable oils . The top food sources of vitamin A in the U.S. diet include dairy products, liver, fish, and fortified cereals; the top sources of provitamin A include carrots, broccoli, cantaloupe, and squash . RDAs for vitamin A are given as retinol activity equivalents to account for the different bioactivities of retinol and provitamin A carotenoids, all of which are converted by the body into retinol .

Usual Adult Dose For:

Further, this study suffers from a small sample size in each of the four key groups (i.e., pre- and postmenopausal women by calcium supplement status), making correlations of potential nutritional or pathological importance indeterminate. Direct studies of the requirement for vitamin A during pregnancy are lacking. The model used to establish the EAR is based on the accumulation of vitamin A in the liver of the fetus during gestation and an assumption that liver contains approximately half of the body’s vitamin A when liver stores are low, as in the case of newborns. Liver vitamin A concentrations for full-term stillborn infants (Dorea et al., 1984; Hoppner et al., 1968; Montreewasuwat and Olson, 1979; Olson, 1979) have ranged from less than 10 to greater than 100 μg/g liver, with values tending to be skewed towards the lower range . A vitamin A concentration of 1,800 μg per liver for 37 to 40 week gestation age was used to calculate a concentration of 3,600 μg per fetus. Assuming the efficiency of maternal vitamin A absorption to average 70 percent and vitamin A to be accumulated mostly in the last 90 days of pregnancy, the mother’s requirement would be increased by approximately 50 μg/day during the last trimester.

Recommended Intakes

The all-“trans” retinal dissociates from the opsin in a series of steps called photo-bleaching. This isomerization induces a nervous signal along the optic nerve to the visual center of the brain. After separating from opsin, the all-“trans”-retinal is recycled and converted back to the 11-“cis”-retinal form by a series of enzymatic reactions. In vet cbd oil uk addition, some of the all-“trans” retinal may be converted to all-“trans” retinol form and then transported with an interphotoreceptor retinol-binding protein to the pigment epithelial cells. Further esterification into all-“trans” retinyl esters allow for storage of all-trans-retinol within the pigment epithelial cells to be reused when needed.

Vitamin A is essential for normal vision as well as proper bone growth, healthy skin, and protection of the mucous membranes of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts against infection. When it comes to tissue repair and cell regeneration, getting enough vitamin A in your diet is key. Besides being vital to promoting proper skin health, some evidence even suggests that this vitamin could aid in wound healing as well. The American Pediatrics Association lists vitamin A as one of the most important micronutrients during pregnancy, especially with regard to lung function and maturation.

However, improved pancreatic replacement treatments, better nutrition, and caloric supplements have helped most patients with cystic fibrosis become vitamin A sufficient . Several studies have shown that oral supplementation can correct low serum beta-carotene levels in people with cystic fibrosis, but no controlled studies have examined the effects of vitamin A supplementation on clinical outcomes in patients with cystic fibrosis [20-22]. A NOAEL of approximately 4,500 μg/day of preformed vitamin A from food and supplements was based on a critical evaluation of the data in Table 4-8. Most of the human data on teratogenicity of vitamin A involve doses equal to or greater than 7,800 μg/day. There are limited epidemiological data to clearly define a dose-response relationship in the dose range of 3,000 to 7,800 μg/day.

It also means that in the past, vitamin A intake has been overestimated. The two main forms of vitamin A in the human diet are preformed vitamin A , and provitamin A carotenoids such as beta-carotene that are converted to retinol. Preformed vitamin A comes from animal products, fortified foods, and vitamin supplements. There are other types of carotenoids found in food that are not converted to vitamin A but have health-promoting properties; these include lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Retinyl esters are the storage form of retinol in animals and thus the main precursors of retinol in food from animals. Plants contain carotenoids, some of which are precursors for vitamin A (e.g., α-carotene, β-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin).

This syndrome includes headache, blurring of vision and confusion, associated with increased intracerebral pressure. Symptoms begin to resolve when intake of the offending substance is stopped. Freudenheim and coworkers evaluated the correlation between mean 3-year vitamin A intakes ranging from approximately 2 to 3 mg/day and rates of change in BMD in 84 women, 35 to 65 years of age (17 pre- and 67 postmenopausal). No consistent relationship was reported between vitamin A intake and the rate of bone mineral content loss in pre- and postmenopausal women. The single subject who showed rapid bone mineral loss with very high vitamin A intake also appeared to have consumed large amounts of other micronutrients as well, obscuring the significance of this relationship.

Vitamin A In Foods

Note that vitamin A may also interact with certain medications, including some birth control pills, blood thinners and certain cancer treatments. Vitamin A deficiency has become a public health problem in more than half of all countries, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia, and affects many young children and pregnant women in low-income countries in particular. Certain groups such as premature infants, people with cystic fibrosis and pregnant or breastfeeding women in developing countries are more at risk of vitamin A deficiency . Additionally, vitamin A deficiency raises the risk of anemia and death in pregnant women and negatively impacts the fetus by slowing growth and development . Vitamin A is essential for your health, supporting cell growth, immune function, fetal development and vision.

Nutrilite Vision Health With Lutein

All forms of vitamin A have a beta-ionone ring to which an isoprenoid chain is attached, called a retinyl group. The orange pigment of carrots (beta-carotene) can be represented as two connected retinyl groups, which are used in the body to contribute to vitamin A levels. Alpha-carotene and gamma-carotene also have a single retinyl group, which give them some vitamin activity. The carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin possesses an ionone group and has vitamin activity in humans. In foods of animal origin, the major form of vitamin A is an ester, primarily retinyl palmitate, which is converted to retinol in the small intestine. The retinol form functions as a storage form of the vitamin, and can be converted to and from its visually active aldehyde form, retinal.

Upon binding of retinoic acid to the RAR component of the RAR-RXR heterodimer, the receptors undergo a conformational change that causes co-repressors to dissociate from the receptors. Coactivators can then bind to the receptor complex, which may help to loosen the chromatin structure from the histones or may interact with the transcriptional machinery. This response can upregulate the expression of target genes, including Hox genes as well as the genes that encode for the receptors themselves (i.e. RAR-beta in mammals). RAE of preformed what can you make with cbd oil may be associated with osteoporosis and hip fractures because it suppresses bone building while simultaneously stimulating bone breakdown, although other reviews have disputed this effect, indicating further evidence is needed. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD. October 6, 1995.

These liquid supplements provide a convenient, highly concentrated, and easily absorbable form of pure vitamin A. It contains only vitamin A palmitate from fish oil, soybean oil to boost absorption, and a softgel capsule. Swanson products are third-party tested to ensure quality, and this supplement provides 200% of the DV for vitamin A. You can also purchase different flavors like lemon, orange, and strawberry, which may make the otherwise strong-tasting cod liver oil easier to take. Not only is it third-party tested for purity but also sustainably sourced from Atlantic cod. It contains just three ingredients — cod liver oil, the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol, and rosemary extract, which serves as a natural preservative.

The synthetic derivative of retinol, isotretinoin, is known to cause serious birth defects and should not be taken during pregnancy or if there is a possibility of becoming pregnant . Tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid), another retinol derivative, is prescribed as a topical preparation that is applied to the skin. Although percutaneous absorption of topical tretinoin is minimal, its use during pregnancy is not recommended . Vitamin A status, as determined by serum retinol concentration, was not improved in Indonesian lactating women after the consumption of dark green leafy vegetables (de Pee et al., 1995). There is evidence that iron deficiency impairs the metabolism of vitamin A in laboratory animals (Jang et al., 2000; Rosales et al., 1999).

Vitamin A supplements are recommended for children with measles who are at an increased risk of vitamin A deficiency. Research suggests that supplementation might reduce death due to measles. A large clinical trial showed that people at high risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration reduced their risk of developing the condition by 25 percent by taking a specific combination of vitamins that included beta-carotene. In developed countries, the amounts of vitamin A in breast milk are sufficient to meet infants’ needs for the first 6 months of life. But in women with vitamin A deficiency, breast milk volume and vitamin A content are suboptimal and not sufficient to maintain adequate vitamin A stores in infants who are exclusively breastfed . The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in developing countries begins to increase in young children just after they stop breastfeeding .

Furthermore, girls and African-American children have a higher risk of consuming less than two-thirds of the vitamin A RDA than other children . Taking a collagen supplement can be an easy and effective way to help support better skin. Topical retinoids stimulate collagen production, making them effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin A also stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, takes part in remodeling bone, helps maintain healthy endothelial cells (those lining the body’s interior surfaces), and regulates cell growth and division such as needed for reproduction. Vitamin A was initially coined “the anti-infective vitamin” because of its importance in the normal functioning of the immune system . The skin and mucosal cells, lining the airways, digestive tract, and urinary tract function as a barrier and form the body’s first line of defense against infection.

Nordic Naturals is one of the most-trusted omega-3 fish oil brands on the market, and their cod liver oil is equally high in quality. Some people, especially those with severe soy allergies, may need to avoid soy lecithin. However, it’s present in such small amounts in supplements that it shouldn’t be a cause for concern for most people.

In addition to helping skin look its best, vitamins can also be used to manage a variety of skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, and the effects of photoaging. Additionally, some groups at higher risk of vitamin A deficiency may require a supplement, including premature infants, people with cystic fibrosis, and women and children in developing countries . Yet, low levels of vitamin A may not be the only problem when it comes to bone health. Some studies have found that people with high intakes of vitamin A have a higher risk of fractures as well .

Chug-Ahuja et al. reported that carrots were the major contributor of β-carotene . Other major contributors to β-carotene intakes included cantaloupe, broccoli, squash, peas, and spinach. According to data collected from the 1994–1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals , the major contributors of vitamin A from foods were grains and vegetables , followed by dairy and meat products . Competitive interactions among different carotenoids have been observed. When subjects were given purified β-carotene and lutein in a combined dose, β-carotene significantly reduced lutein absorption, and therefore serum lutein concentration, compared to when lutein was given alone (Kostic et al., 1995). However, lutein given in combination with β-carotene significantly increased β-carotene serum concentrations compared to when β-carotene was given alone.

The test stimulus consists of light flashes of approximately 1-second duration separated by 1-second intervals of darkness. A tracking method is used with the luminance of the test light being 5 htp and kratom increased or decreased depending upon the response of the subject. The ascending threshold is the intensity at which the subject first sees the test light as its luminance is increased.

In laboratory animals, fetal resorption is common in severe vitamin A deficiency, while fetuses that survive have characteristic malformations of the eye, lungs, urogenital tract, and cardiovascular system. Similar abnormalities are observed in rat embryos lacking nuclear retinoid receptors (Wendling et al., 1999). Morphological abnormalities associated with vitamin A deficiency are not commonly found in humans; however, functional defects of the lungs have been observed . Typically, the majority of vitamin A metabolites are excreted in the urine. Sauberlich et al. reported that the percentage of a radioactive dose of vitamin A recovered in breath, feces, and urine ranged from 18 to 30 percent, 18 to 37 percent, and 38 to 60 percent, respectively, after 400 days on a vitamin A-deficient diet.

Yellow- and orange-colored vegetables contain significant quantities of carotenoids. Green vegetables also contain carotenoids, though yellow-to-red pigments are masked by the green pigment of chlorophyll . The table below lists a number of good food sources of vitamin A, including fruit and vegetables, along with their vitamin A content. The retinol activity is indicated in micrograms of retinol activity equivalents (μg RAE). In addition, use USDA’s FoodData Central to check foods for their content of carotenoids without vitamin A activity, such as lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In North and West Africa, vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency induced-goiter can coexist in up to 50% of children.

Retinoids can have side effects when not used properly or used to excess. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your use of vitamin A and your goals for your skin’s appearance. The type of skin you have should determine the kinds of products you use on it.

In addition, the intestine actively synthesizes retinoyl β-glucuronide that is hydrolyzed to retinoic acid by β-glucuronidases . The efficiency of absorption of preformed vitamin A is generally high, in the range of 70 to 90 percent . A specific retinol transport protein within the brush border of the enterocyte facilitates retinol uptake by the mucosal cells . At physiological concentrations, retinol absorption is carrier mediated and saturable, whereas at high pharmacological doses, the absorption of retinol is nonsaturable .

Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, it is more efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream when eaten with fat. Most animal-sourced foods that are rich in vitamin A are also high in fat, but the same doesn’t apply to most plant sources of provitamin A. You can easily meet your requirements for vitamin A by regularly eating some of the foods listed in this article.


Vitamin A is POSSBILY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in doses greater than 10,000 units daily. Some research suggests that higher doses might increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture, particularly in older people. Adults who eat low-fat dairy products, which are fortified with vitamin A, and a lot of fruits and vegetables usually do not need vitamin A supplements or multivitamins that contain vitamin A. Premenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer who consume high levels of vitamin A in their diet seem to have lower risk of breast cancer. Most experts agree that high-dose vitamin A supplementation reduces the risk of death in children 6-59 months of age who are at risk for vitamin A deficiency. Taking vitamin A does not seem to reduce the risk of death in healthy adults.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.