Choosing the Best Vitamin A Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Vitamin A Supplement Brands

Just as your body requires you to feed it adequate amounts of macronutrients in order to stay healthy, so too does it need a proper supply of vitamins and minerals. These are not the same as macronutrients, however, because your body typically does not need nearly as much of these to function properly compared to macronutrients.

Some vitamins your body can synthesize naturally, such as Vitamin D from sunlight. This is not true for all vitamins, though, and some will need to either be supplemented or completely supplied by your diet. Avoiding a vitamin deficiency is important; many symptoms that are typically blamed on a chronic or more serious illness can also be caused by a vitamin deficiency.

Ensuring that you are getting the proper nutrients in your diet is one way to enable you to look more clearly at your health by eliminating another possible culprit of unpleasant symptoms.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is essential to the body and can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes and fish. Many people prefer to take it in supplement form as those foods aren’t always readily available and some supplements contain a day’s worth of vitamin A in a single capsule.

There are two ways of getting vitamin A in supplement form. Some vitamin A supplements contain vitamin A palmitate, a type of vitamin A that can be obtained from meat and fish. This is the rarer and more effective way to get vitamin A into the system.

There is also beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A once it has been ingested. Half of the beta carotene becomes antioxidants, meaning that beta carotene is less “pure” than vitamin A palmitate.

Vitamin A is a very popular supplement because it has many beneficial effects. Many people take it because it is very good for the skin. Prolonged use has been shown to be tremendously effective. Many expensive skin products actually contain mostly vitamin A. It also promotes the immune system and guards the linings of the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. It supports the function of white blood cells and in general it promotes healthy cell growth.

What Is Its Biological Role?

Vitamin A helps maintain a healthy immune system, and contributes to cell growth and vision. Vitamin A supplements are also commonly used to holistically treat acne and other skin problems.

How Does Vitamin A Help Bodybuilders and People Who Work Out?

No one particular group of people needs Vitamin A more than the other. This vitamin is required for good health by everyone. However, it may be in the best interest of bodybuilders and folks who like to hit the gym to make sure you are taking enough Vitamin A, because without it you may be more susceptible to illnesses, which may prevent you from properly adhering to your fitness regime.

What Foods Contain Vitamin A?

Anyone who consumes a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables can get at least half their vitamin A from these sources alone. Sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, and spinach are all good sources of vitamin A.

Animals sources of vitamin A include liver, eggs, and milk. Generally whole milk will have the most vitamin A, though skim milks and cereals sometimes have Vitamin A added for a more balanced nutritional profile.

How to Take Vitamin A Supplements

Vitamin A should be taken with a meal to get the full effects. Fat helps with absorption. Instead of a meal, some people take a teaspoon of coconut oil before ingesting vitamin A. Coconut oil has fat that will help the body absorb the supplement better.

It should not be taken by pregnant or lactating women and should not be taken by infants.

How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?

Women should get 700mcg per day, and men are recommended to consume slightly more [2] at 900 mcg per day. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may want to take more than this to help your body cope with the additional stresses of pregnancy and milk production, but you should discuss this with your physician.

Are There Risks Associated With Consuming Too Much Of It?

It would be difficult to consume too much Vitamin A from food alone, as you do not start experiencing problems from Vitamin A until you have consumed several times the daily recommended amount.

However, if you choose to take Vitamin A supplements and take too many, you may experience Vitamin A toxicity. Symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity include joint pain, headaches, confusion, nausea or vomiting, and dry skin.

You should also ask your doctor before taking Vitamin A supplements if you take prescription medications–the supplement may prevent certain medications from working the way they should–or have liver or kidney problems.

Are There Risks Associated With Consuming Too Little Of It?

Vitamin A deficiency [3] is typically only found in people who eat very poor diets, nutrient wise, or people with certain digestive diseases that may prevent them from properly absorbing the vitamin from the foods they eat. Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency include dry skin or eyes, frequently getting sick or contracting infections, and problems seeing well in low light.

Things to Look for in a Good Vitamin A Supplement

As always, you want to look at the ingredients and avoid anything with chemicals. Vitamin A is measured in i.u., which literally means international unit. I.U. is a way for pharmacists across the globe to share the same system of measuring microscopic doses.

Most supplements come with 10,000 i.u. of vitamin A in them. A few of them have 25,000 i.u. The recommended daily amount is 10,000 i.u. If you take palmitate, do not take more than 10,000 i.u. per day, as it can be toxic. The pills with 25,000 i.u. contain beta carotene and are much less potent. Beta carotene is also not toxic and taking too much isn’t a problem.

Some people get headaches with high doses. If this happens, stop taking it and consult a physician.

Top 10 Vitamin A Products Compared


1. Now Foods Vitamin A

Now Foods Vitamin A

Now Foods puts out a softgel that contains a very high amount of vitamin A. Because of this, it is not recommended for children. One dose is 500% of the recommended daily amount, so it should not be taken daily over a long period of time.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (from fish liver oil) 25,000 i.u.
  • Softgel capsule (gelatin, glycerin, water)
  • Soybean oil
  • Fish (cod, saithe, haddock, pollock)

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2. Nature’s Way Vitamin A 10,000 IU

Natures Way Vitamin A

This product is quite effective but has a weaker dose than some. That said, some people have reported getting itchy hands and feet, a symptom of too much vitamin A in the system. This contains soy, so those allergic to it should avoid this product.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (from atlantic cod) 10,000 i.u.
  • Soybean oil
  • Gelatin
  • Glycerin
  • Purified water

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3. Thorne Research Vitamin A

Thorne Research Vitamin A

Thorne Research Vitamin A supplements are vegetarian capsules and they contain vitamin A palmitate, which is good for the eyes and skin. The company is based out of California and they are exceptionally environmentally-conscious. This capsule is meant to be taken twice a day or as a doctor recommends.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (as Palmitate) 25,000 i.u.
  • Hypromellose capsule
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Leucine
  • Silicon dioxide

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4. Source Naturals Vitamin A

Source Naturals Vitamin A

Source Naturals offers this vitamin A palmitate capsule. It contains soy, so those allergic should avoid it. It is suitable for vegetarians and it contains no eggs, dairy, gluten or wheat. It has no preservatives or artificial coloring.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (a palmitate) 10,000 i.u.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Stearic acid
  • Modified cellulose gum
  • Silica

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5. Country Life Vitamin A

Country Life Vitamin A

Country Life Vitamin A supplements are third party-tested which is very reassuring. These vitamins are made from cod liver oil and come in softgel form. Country Life flies under the radar to a degree but they have a very solid product and really deserve more recognition than they get. These are certified gluten-free, come in recyclable packaging and are made by machines driven by wind power.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (from cod liver oil) 10,000 i.u.
  • Medium chain triglycerides
  • Gelatin
  • Glycerin
  • Purified water
  • Fish (cod)

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6. Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A

Pure encapsulations Vitamin A is considered a good product because they are inexpensive and very effective. A lot of people swear by them. The pills are easy to swallow and are about the size of an ibuprofen.

Highlights:

Contains

  • 10,000 i.u. of Vitamin A from Norwegian cod liver oil
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Natural lemon flavor
  • Tocopherols
  • Rosemary antioxidant blend
  • Gelatin for the capsule

7. Freeda Vitamin A Palmitate

Freeda Vitamin A Palmitate

This product has vitamin A palminate. Freeda is a family-owned business and has a very good reputation.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Kosher vitamin A palmitate 15,000 i.u.
  • Freeda have a strong reputation
  • Good customer service
  • Easy to swallow
  • Contains niacinamide

8. Vital Nutrients Vitamin A

Vital Nutrients Vitamin A

Vital Nutrients Vitamin A is a softgel derived from fish liver oil. This is another one of those products that pack in 25,000 i.u of vitamin A in each pill. With a dose that high, caution needs to be taken over the long term.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (from fish liver oil) 25,000 i.u.
  • Soybean oil
  • Gelatin
  • Glycerin
  • Water

9. BlueBonnet Vitamin A

Bluebonnet Vitamin A

Bluebonnet puts their vitamin A in softgel form, which is easier to swallow and aids the body in absorption. Bluebonnet extracts vitamin A from deep sea cold water fish and molecularly distills it. The general consensus is that this a very solid product.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A (from fish liver oil) 10,000 i.u.
  • Gelatin
  • Glycerin
  • Purified water
  • Soybean oil
  • Fish (cod)

10. Superior Source Vitamin A

Superior Source Vitamin A

These are meant to be put under the tongue so that they can dissolve. Superior Source has developed a special type of “microlingual tablet” that dissolves instantly. They are meant to be put under the tongue so they can dissolve. This makes the supplement much more potent and effective.The company has had some issues with faulty product. If you open a bottle and there is a strange odor, do not ingest.

Highlights:

Contains

  • Vitamin A 10,000 i.u. (acetate)
  • Stevia leaf extract 2.5 mg
  • Lactose (milk)
  • Acacia gum

Final Take

Hopefully now it is starting to become more apparent why you should take an interest in consuming enough vitamins every day. Some individuals may choose to ensure they are receiving enough of each vitamin by taking a daily supplement that provides most vitamins and nutrients.

If you suffer from a particular vitamins deficiency a supplement for that individual vitamin may be useful. For the most part, however, your body is much more able to handle vitamins as an integral part of nutrient-dense foods.

Making a point to eat food that are more nutrient-dense and varying your diet can go a long way towards helping you get the proper nutrients in their most natural and bioavailable form. An easy way to try this is to make sure your plate at every meal is at least half fruits and veggies, and to play around a little bit with color (colors naturally occurring in food are frequently influenced by what nutrients that possess).

References:

[1] Wikipedia. Vitamin A. Wikipedia, 2017.

[2] Office Of Dietary Supplements, National Institute of Health. Vitamin A-Consumer Fact Sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services, 2013.

[3] Wikipedia. Vitamin A Deficiency. Wikipedia, 2017.

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