Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to ReviewBox! Vitamin A, also known as Retinol, is of vital importance for the body. That is why the market offers a wide variety of products composed of this micronutrient, so that you can consume it in different ways and take advantage of all its properties

Vitamin A, which has enormous benefits for the body, can be consumed through food, capsules, tablets and commercially available creams. The question is which of these products and brands is best?

At ReviewBox.com.mx we will show you the different types of vitamin A products and their characteristics, so that you can choose the one that is best for you according to your interests and budget. It is important that you take every detail into account to make the best purchasing decision.




The Best Vitamin A: Our Picks

Buying guide

The main purpose of this article is to provide you with useful information so that you can get to know the product you are thinking of buying in depth. Therefore, we want to tell you the most important aspects about vitamin A, and what you should take into account when buying.

Vitamin A has enormous benefits for your eyesight, skin, reproductive system and heart. (Source: Varin Rattanaburi / 123rf.com)

What is vitamin A and what are its benefits?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin (which can dissolve in fats), and is acquired by the body from certain foods. It is divided into two types: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A; the former is obtained from the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products, and the latter from the consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Vitamin A helps maintain good eyesight, the immune system and the ability to reproduce. It also benefits the heart, lungs and kidneys, among other organs.

This vitamin, which is also known as retinol or antixerophthalmic, is an essential micronutrient for humans, as in addition to the above-mentioned benefits, it helps the development of bones, teeth, soft tissues, mucous membranes and skin. It also prevents acne and infectious diseases, especially respiratory diseases.

Vitamin A can also be obtained through vitamin supplements such as retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, beta-carotene or combinations of pre-formed vitamin A and provitamin A. The characteristics of these supplements are set out in a comparative table below.

Advantages
  • Protects and improves vision
  • Helps bone growth and development
  • Contributes to the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth
  • Provides benefits for the heart, lungs and kidneys, among other organs
  • Prevents respiratory system disorders
  • Prevents premature ageing
  • Helps form nerve tissue
  • Cares for our skin, as it moisturises it, repairs damaged tissue, facilitates cell renewal and helps heal wounds
  • It strengthens hair and nails
Disadvantages
  • Its excess can cause anorexia, alopecia and severe headaches
  • It can cause nausea, jaundice, irritability, drowsiness and muscular and abdominal weakness
  • Its unregulated consumption can cause bone alterations, inflammations and haemorrhages
  • High doses can lead to malformations in the foetus

What does vitamin A deficiency do?

Vitamin A deficiency can also have consequences, and often manifests itself through symptoms or diseases. For this reason, although consultation with a specialist is a priority, recognising these pathologies in our body can help us to detect vitamin A deficiency:

Skin. The skin's texture becomes thicker, it turns red and eczema or flakes may appear.

Hair. Hair loss or dandruff may occur.

Vision. Night blindness, infection, dryness, pain or discomfort in eyelids and eyes, ulcers and milky, bluish cornea.

Other. Stunted growth, weakened immune system, bone pain, kidney stones, heavy or excessive menstruation, etc.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms or diseases, it is essential that you eat foods with vitamin A (especially orange vegetables, such as carrots and pumpkin), but also that you consult a doctor, as you may also need a vitamin supplement to help with the deficiency of this important vitamin.

Vitamin A (Retinol) or Beta-carotene - what should you look out for?

Vitamin A can be consumed through two types of supplements: retinol (animal origin) or beta-carotene (plant origin). It is important to take sufficient precautions regarding consumption, especially in the case of retinol palmitate, which can be highly toxic and counterproductive if taken without medical advice.

Beta-carotene, which is of vegetable origin, is harmless, as long as it is not synthetic. Depending on why you want to buy this vitamin, you should pay attention to the following aspects:

Retinol Beta-carotene
Found in supplements or animal products Present in supplements or products of plant origin
Can be harmful if consumed in abundance High doses are not a problem
Should be taken under medical instructions, and correct doses should be monitored Synthetic beta-carotene supplements are not recommended, as they can be oxidising
Performs cell proliferation functions, and improves skin health and vision Performs functions for eye health, bone health, etc.

These are just a few characteristics to consider when deciding which vitamin A supplements are best for you; more on other factors to consider when making a good purchasing choice later.

How much does vitamin A cost?

A wide range of vitamin A products are available on the market in different consumption variants, which determine their characteristics and costs. Here are some price estimates for you to evaluate according to your budget.

Vitamin A can be found in foods, and through commercial products such as creams, ointments, capsules, tablets and tablets which, in many cases, are combined with other vitamins. Prices are usually between 200 MXN and 2000 MXN (even more), depending on the size and components.

Vitamin A doses vary according to age and gender, among other factors. (Photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz / 123rf.com)

Where to buy vitamin A?

Vitamin A is used topically (cream, ointment) or orally (capsules, tablets, capsules), and is available in different variations in shops such as eVitamins, Walmart, GNC, Greenery and Garden of Life, among others.

They are also available online at Amazon, Ebay, Linio, and Mercado Libre, which offer the possibility of buying from home, where you can also receive your order. In addition, you can find a wide range of products and brands.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate the different types of vitamin A

Because there is such a wide range of vitamin A on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which is the best product to buy. It is therefore important to consider certain factors when purchasing vitamin A.

  • Retinol or beta-carotene
  • Recommended dosage
  • Contraindications

Retinol or beta-carotene

As mentioned in the comparison chart, there are two types of vitamin A: preformed vitamin A (Retinol), which is found in beef, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products; and provitamin A (beta-carotene), which is found in fruits, vegetables and other plant products.

First of all, it should be made clear that the best way to consume vitamin A is always through food, as this is the healthiest and most effective way to integrate this beneficial vitamin into the body.

Foods containing beta-carotene always have much higher amounts of vitamin A than supplements, as well as having better properties. It is recommended that, where possible, they should be of organic origin, as they are free from preservatives and pesticides.

However, vitamin A supplements are useful when a person cannot meet their vitamin A needs from their diet. They are also used to prevent possible deficiencies in digestive or liver diseases.

Recommended dosage

The amount of vitamin A you need depends on your age and reproductive stage. The recommended doses of vitamin A for people over 14 years of age range from 700 to 900 micrograms (mcg) of retinol per day.

Recommended intakes for breastfeeding women range from 1,200 to 1,300, and for infants and children under 14 years of age, the recommended values are lower. Obviously, it will always depend on clinical conditions and weight, among other factors.

However, vitamin A supplementation (especially retinol) should always be indicated and supervised by a physician. As reference values (variable for each specific case), the daily requirement of this vitamin for adults is 1500 mcg in men and 900 mcg in women.

Contraindications

Many vitamin supplements do not have warning labels on their packaging, unless they contain iron. In some cases they do provide warnings for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or about possible contradictions with unmentionable drug names.

However, less than half of the supplements warn whether they can be consumed by anyone, or whether consumers suffering from any medical condition can take them. They may even omit whether an adverse reaction is possible.

It is therefore essential to make sure that your doctor or pharmacist is aware of the supplements you are taking, as well as any other medicines you are taking or are considering taking, and that he or she will advise you of the correct and appropriate dosages for you.

Too much pre-formulated vitamin A can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, abdominal pain, weakness, anorexia, irritability and drowsiness, among other symptoms. In addition, high doses are very dangerous for pregnant women, as they can cause congenital problems in the baby.

In the case of beta-carotene supplements, there are no side effects, except that the skin turns a little orange, but this is harmless and disappears over the days. They are even used to intensify tanning, but the effect is not long-term.

(Featured image photo: belchonock / 123rf.com)

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