Vitamin A can be tricky. Take too much and you may increase your risk of osteoporosis, fatigue, and other conditions. Take too little and you may experience hair loss or even night blindness. This means, the key to taking vitamin A is balance whether it’s taken in supplement form or obtained through foods.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) level for adults age 19 and older is 770 mcg/day (2,600 units). The maximum UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Levels) is 3,000 mcg/day (10,000 units). Taking the right amount of vitamin A can help with vision, immune, and cell growth support. Vitamin A is also effective for the treatment and prevention of deficiency in people with diabetes, over-active thyroid, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, protein deficiency, fever, and an inherited disorder called abetalipoproteinemia. This condition prevents a person from fully absorbing dietary fats through the intestines.
Vitamin A is possibly effective for:
•Improving recovery from laser eye surgery
•Preventing breast cancer
•Prevention of cataracts
•Reducing complications of diseases such as malaria, HIV, measles, and diarrhea in children with vitamin A deficiency
•Reducing problems during pregnancy and after giving birth in underfed (malnourished) women
To avoid vitamin A deficiency, it’s easy to obtain the RDA from foods such as orange-colored fruits and vegetables, green vegetables, oily saltwater fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, butter, whole milk, and fortified margarine. You can even get vitamin A from spices such as cayenne pepper and chili pepper. If you feel that you are not getting enough vitamin A from foods, supplements are the next best thing. Vitamin A supplements are marketed under the following names:
3-Dehydroretinol, Antixerophthalmic Vitamin, Axerophtholum, Dehydroretinol, Fat-Soluble Vitamin, Oleovitamin A, Retinoids, Retinol, Rétinol, Retinol Acetate, Retinol Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2, Vitamina A, Vitamine A, and Vitaminum A.
Be careful when taking supplements. There’s no need to take more than the RDA. If you feel that you need to take more, you can avoid consuming excessive amounts by limiting your intake to 3,000 mcg/day or less, unless it’s under the care of a physician.