Is Vitamin A Supplementation Safe? An Expert's Perspective

This article provides an expert's perspective on whether or not taking Vitamin A supplements is safe. Learn about potential risks associated with taking Vitamin A supplements as well as potential benefits.

Is Vitamin A Supplementation Safe? An Expert's Perspective

A balanced and nutritious diet is usually enough to provide the body with the necessary amount of vitamin A. If you are looking for the antioxidant properties of vitamin A, it is best to get it from food sources. It is not yet clear if taking vitamin A supplements can offer the same benefits as natural antioxidants found in food. Too much vitamin A can be harmful, and too much vitamin A during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects.Vitamin A is absorbed along with fat in the diet.

Studies often use high doses of vitamin A, but these doses can be toxic. Therefore, it is important to monitor any high-dose treatment (any dose that approaches the 10,000 IU level for an adult or that exceeds the recommended daily amount for a child).In October 2004, an update was made to the dosage recommendation. To provide the most up-to-date health information, it was suggested that 15,000 IU of mixed carotene should be taken instead of 25,000 IU. Prenatal vitamin A supplementation has been found to increase birth weight and reduce anaemia among infants born to women infected with HIV in Malawi.Vitamin A supplements have also been studied in relation to diarrheal and respiratory tract infections among children in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

Additionally, a randomized controlled trial evaluated the effect of vitamin A supplementation on maternal morbidity during pregnancy and postpartum in women infected with HIV. The intake of carrots, spinach and supplements containing vitamin A has also been studied in relation to the risk of breast cancer.Some laboratory studies suggest that vitamin A and carotenoids may help fight certain types of cancer in test tubes. Zinc plus beta-carotene supplementation in pregnant women has been found to be superior to beta-carotene supplementation alone in improving vitamin A status in both mothers and infants. Additionally, a weekly program of vitamin A supplementation has been found to alleviate social deterioration in Chinese children with autism spectrum disorders and vitamin A deficiency.Randomized controlled trials have also been conducted on the tolerability, safety and efficacy of 0.1% adapalene gel and 0.1% tretinoin microsphere gel for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Vitamin A supplements have also been studied in relation to short- and long-term mortality and morbidity in infants with very low birth weight.The prevalence of xerophthalmia and efficacy of vitamin A prophylaxis in preventing the coexistence of xerophthalmia with malnutrition in children in rural areas of India has also been studied. The cost of successful adolescent growth and development in girls relative to iron and vitamin A status has also been studied.Prescription creams and pills containing retinoids, a synthetic form of vitamin A, are used to help eliminate severe acne and psoriasis. Additionally, a randomized trial has been conducted on the effect of vitamin A supplements on mortality among children infected and uninfected with HIV in Tanzania.If you are being treated for cancer, it is important to talk to your oncologist before taking any supplement, including vitamin A. Additionally, an evaluation and comparison of vitamin A supplementation with standard therapies has been conducted for patients with COVID-19.