Herbal Supplements
Vitamin A Medicinal Uses

1.      Conditions improved by a supplement

Prevention of vitamin A deficiency is often the main reason for the consumption of retinol-rich foods and the use of food supplements including this element, as proper levels of vitamin A can help avoid the development of eye, skin, immune system and growth disorders.

Such diseases as night blindness, cataracts, and other eye conditions can be treated with supplementation of vitamin A. It works to process the light better and keep different cells of the eye healthy.

Acne is another health disorder, which is scientifically proven to be effectively treated with vitamin A. Moreover, it looks like retinoids are the most efficacious means to eliminate pimples from the skin surface. Vitamin A ensures healthy skin by balancing the shedding of the old cells of epidermis – the outer layer of the skin, and promoting the growth of the new skin cells.

Vitamin A is also used to boost the immune system and help it timely and effectively fight off the attacks of viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Scientific studies report the decrease in the rates of measles occurrence in the risk countries, if vitamin A supplements are used.

Adequate doses of vitamin A are necessary for the proper production, replication, and differentiation of all the body cells. In this respect vitamin A consumption is linked with the protection against various forms of cancer. These days clinical trials are constantly being conducted to evaluate vitamin’s effectiveness and possibility to be used in the treatment of this dangerous condition.

Lung functioning is said to be improved by vitamin A, especially, in those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Statistics confirms that the victims of this condition have vitamin A deficiency and their state is improved with the supplementation of this element.

2.      Recommended daily dose

Depending on the country, recommended dietary intake of vitamin A may slightly differ. In the USA males are advised to consume 1000 mcg RE (retinol equivalents) or, in other words, 3333 IU (international units). Females should take more moderate amounts of vitamin A: 800 mcg RE or 2666 IU. These numbers should be at the same level during pregnancy; however, breastfeeding women are allowed to add 500 mcg RE (1666 IU) of a supplement to the usual dose.

Note: 1 mcg RE is equivalent to 3.33 IU. Retinol equivalents are used as a standard for different forms of vitamin A to be compared.

3.      Precautions and interactions

It should be underlined that exceeding the allowed doses of vitamin A may be quite dangerous, especially, for pregnant women. This element is stored in the liver and needs pretty much time to be eliminated from the body. Thus, its overdose may have liver-damaging effects. Besides, increased level of vitamin A may result in the skin disorders and provoke other unwanted effects in the body. In pregnant women it may cause deformities in the developing babies. 

The absorption of vitamin A is reduced by alcohol, mineral oil laxatives, antacids, anti-gout medications and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Antibiotics should not be used along with vitamin A supplements. In addition, birth-control and weight-loss drugs may also interact with retinol, thus their use should be monitored by the physicians.

It is also necessary to add that people with kidney and liver disorders should consult their doctors to evaluate the possibility of vitamin A supplements consumption. Sometimes it is safer to take beta-carotene or other precursors of retinol than this “already made” form of vitamin A, which naturally occurs in animal products, or which is a part of food supplements.

About Vitamin A

Vitamin A: General Information

What it is Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for many systems of the human body. In fact, vitamin ...

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About Vitamin A

Vitamin A: General Information

What it is Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for ...

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