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If a person has a vitamin A deficiency, a doctor may recommend vitamin A supplements. They are available in different forms and may work well for some medical conditions and diets.

A quick look at the best vitamin A supplements

Males and females often benefit from differing vitamin and mineral types, quantities, and combinations. With this in mind, some pharmaceutical companies develop specific formulas of supplements, vitamins, shakes, and health bars to benefit either male or female biology. A person should discuss their options with a doctor or healthcare professional who can help them decide, and choose the product they feel works best for them and their needs.

In this article, we look at vitamin A in more detail and supplements that a person can find online.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps support vision, skin, and immune health.

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), there are two types of vitamin A:

Preformed vitamin Apresent in animal products, such as red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy
Provitamin Apresent in fruits, vegetables, and plant-based products (beta-carotene is a common type of provitamin A)

Read more about vitamin A here.

A 2017 meta-analysis notes that vitamin A intake may help reduce the chance of experiencing bone fractures.

It may also provide protection against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as an older 2015 study found associations between higher intakes of specific carotenoids and the reduced risk of advanced AMD.

Furthermore, vitamin A may help various health conditions, as it helps the body fight infections, improves eyesight, and prevents fertility conditions.

Foods high in vitamin A

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) provides a list of foods containing vitamin A. These include:

  • cheese
  • eggs
  • oily fish
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • liver

A person may also add foods containing beta-carotene to their diet, such as:

  • spinach
  • carrots
  • sweet potato
  • red peppers
  • mango

Read more about vitamin A food sources here.

Experts advise intake suggestions for vitamin A through Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

DRI values change per a person’s age and biological sex, and include:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): This is the average daily intake level, sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of almost every healthy person.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): This intake level ensures adequate nutrition and is set when there is insufficient proof to develop an RDA.
  • Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): This is the average daily intake level that is estimated to satisfy the needs of 50% of healthy people.
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): This is the highest intake level a person can consume which would unlikely have a negative health effect.

RDAs for vitamin A are typically shown as Retinol Activity Equivalents.

This is because the body converts the different compounds in vitamin A into retinol.
Due to this:

1 microgram (mcg) RAE is equivalent to:

  • 1 mcg retinol
  • 2 mcg supplemental beta-carotene
  • 12 mcg dietary beta-carotene
  • or 24 mcg dietary alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin

The following table shows the RDA for vitamin A:

AgeRDAUL
0–6 months400 mcg RAE600 mcg
7–12 months500 mcg RAE600 mcg
1–3 years300 mcg RAE600 mcg
4–8 years400 mcg RAE900 mcg
9–13 years600 mcg RAE1,700 mcg
14–18 years900 mcg RAE (male) 700 mcg RAE (female)2,800 mcg
19–50 years900 mcg RAE (male) 700 mcg RAE (female)3,000 mcg
51+ years900 mcg RAE (male) 700 mcg RAE (female)3,000 mcg

For those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the following RDAs apply:

AgeRDA in pregnancyRDA if breastfeedingUL in pregnancyUL if breastfeeding
14–18 years 750 mcg RAE1,200 mcg RAE2,800 mcg2,800 mcg
19–50 years770 mcg RAE1,300 mcg RAE3,000 mcg3,000 mcg

There are many vitamin A supplements available and here we look at some options for a person to consider.

It is important to note that most supplements will cause a person to exceed the UL.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best vegan: Pure TheraPro Vegan A-D-K Full Spectrum Drops

  • Form: Drops
  • Dosage: 15 and 30 milliliters (ml)
  • Price: starting from around $28

This product contains vitamin A, D, and K in liquid form, and it claims to support vision, immunity, bone, and heart health. It has a natural, mild taste and is unflavored.

It is free from gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and fillers. It may also suit those looking for an allergen-free option.

The company recommends taking 5 drops per day, and a person may find the product more effective when taken directly on the tongue.

Best keto-friendly: Why Not Natural Vitamin A Drops

  • Form: Drops
  • Dosage: 30 ml
  • Price: around $17

These vitamin A drops also contain coconut MCT oil and may help reduce acne scarring, address sun damage and support healthy eyesight.

The drops are vegan and free from gluten, sugar, and soy and may therefore suit individuals following a keto diet.

Further to that, Why Not Natural states that the drops have a mild taste and a person can mix them into a smoothie.

Best gluten-free: Bluebonnet Nutrition Vitamin A

  • Form: Softgels
  • Dosage: 100-count, 3,000 mcg per softgel
  • Price: around $6

Bluebonnet Nutrition’s supplements contain vitamin A from fish oil that claims to support an individual’s vision and immune function.

The softgels do not contain milk, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, or wheat. They are also free from gluten, barley, rice, and sugar.

The company recommends a person take 1 softgel per day.

Best for eco-friendly: Nature’s Way Vitamin A

  • Form: Softgels
  • Dosage: 100-count, 3,000 mcg per one softgel serving
  • Price: around $8

Nature’s Way offers these gluten-free vitamins that come in bottles made from post-consumer recycled plastic.

Also, the supplements have Amazon’s Compact by Design certification, meaning that the company removes excess air and water to help reduce its carbon footprint during shipping and packing.

The supplements do contain soy and fish and the company recommends that adults take 1 softgel per day with meals.

Best liquid: Klaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A Liquid

Form: Liquid
Dosage: 30 ml
Price: around $40

Klaire Labs is a company that manufactures its products in a facility that is in line with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

The vitamin A liquid contains glycerin, citric acid, and purified water among other ingredients.

People can take the drops directly to the tongue or add them to food and drink.

Best nonGMO: Bronson Vitamin A

Form: Softgels
Dosage: 250-count, 3,000 mcg per one softgel serving
Price: around $10

These non-GMO vitamin A supplements contain soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, and purified water.

The company produces its supplements in a GMP-certified facility. It also works to reduce carbon emissions, as it removes excess packaging air and water.

According to the product label, individuals can take one supplement per day, with meals.

Here is a comparison between the vitamin A supplements:

Pure TheraPro Vegan A-D-K Full Spectrum DropsWhy Not Natural Vitamin A DropsBluebonnet Nutrition Vitamin ANature’s Way Vitamin AKlaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A LiquidBronson Vitamin A
Feature vegan-friendlyketo-friendlygluten-freeeco-friendlyliquidnon-GMO
Formdropsdropssoftgelssoftgelsliquidsoftgels
Volume15 and 30 ml30 ml100 softgels, 3,000 mcg per serving100 softgels, 3,000 mcg per serving30 ml250 softgels
Pricearound $28around $17around $6around $8around $40around $10

According to the NHS, taking high doses of vitamin A can cause some risks to a person’s health. For example, with age, they may be more likely to experience bone fractures if taking more than 1.5 milligrams (mg) of vitamin A each day.

Some foods naturally contain higher amounts of vitamin A, including liver. Eating liver more than once a week may also increase an individual’s vitamin A levels, so they should avoid taking supplements if they eat liver every week.

Further to that, pregnant people should consider limiting their vitamin A intake, as higher amounts can harm an unborn baby.

Side effects

Side effects that can develop when taking too much vitamin A include:

  • rough skin
  • dry hair
  • enlarged liver
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headaches

The ODS lists some symptoms that a person may develop if they have a vitamin A deficiency, including:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that vitamin A deficiency can increase the death rate in children who have measles and diarrhea.

Read more about vitamin A deficiency here.

There are some factors that people may consider when looking for a vitamin A supplement product.

  • Instructions: Individuals should choose a product that includes a recommended dosage.
  • Form: Vitamin A supplements are available in different forms, such as capsules, softgels, and drops. A person can choose a product based on their preference. For example, those who have difficulty swallowing pills may prefer liquid options.
  • Ingredients: A person can choose supplements that are compatible with their diet, such as gluten-free or vegan.
  • Certifications: Individuals can find a company’s certifications on the product’s label or online page.

People who wish to know more about their vitamin A intake should seek professional help. A doctor can ask about the individual’s diet and how they can increase their vitamin intake if needed.

Those with deficiency symptoms should also see a physician for further evaluation.

In addition, anyone interested in buying vitamin A supplements should check with their doctor if these contain the right doses for them.

Below we answer some common questions relating to vitamin A supplements.

What is the best form of vitamin A?

The easiest way for a person to ensure they receive sufficient vitamin A is from foods. The ODS states that liver, fish, fortified cereals, and dairy products are the most common, vitamin A-rich foods. Foods containing provitamin A include carrots, broccoli, and squash.

However, some individuals may benefit from supplements if they have an increased risk of deficiency. These may include:

  • premature infants
  • those with cystic fibrosis
  • those with gastrointestinal conditions

How much vitamin A should you take each day?

The NHS states that males aged between 19 and 64 can take 700 mcg of vitamin A per day, and females in the same age range can take 600 mcg.

Individuals may find it helpful to take note of the foods they eat that may also contain vitamin A. This is because high doses may cause unwanted health complications.

What should a person consider when buying supplements?

A person should contact a doctor or healthcare professional before taking supplements as they can offer specific advice for the individual and ensure they are receiving safe vitamin levels.

However, as a general rule, a person can check the company’s certifications, manufacturing process, and product ingredients.

Is it OK to take vitamin A every day?

Vitamin A is important for a person’s body and a daily intake is usual, simply from diet alone. However, they should not exceed the current recommended daily intake, and consider the amounts obtained from food when also considering supplements.

Vitamin A supplements come in liquid, drops, or softgel form. They may suit those with a high chance of experiencing vitamin A deficiency.

Some supplements are gluten-free and may benefit those who follow a keto, vegan, or vegetarian diet.

However, a person should consider seeking advice from a doctor before committing to a purchase. This ensures that the supplement is safe and they receive the correct dose.