Best Vitamin A Supplements Ranked for 2018 – Top 10 Brands

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Jump Ahead to the Best Vitamin A Products

Have you ever heard that carrots can make your see better? This myth was propagated by a campaign in WWII to get people to eat carrots, in which carrots were promoted as magic vegetables that could make you see in the dark. Though this is false, it is based in a bit of truth – carrots have a compound in them called beta-carotene that the body converts into an important vitamin for your vision; especially seeing in dim light.

This vitamin helps to preserve eyesight, support the immune system and help wrinkles all at once. It is known as vitamin A, and it is an essential vitamin necessary for cell growth and differentiation, immune function, reproduction, the heart, lungs, kidneys and proper vision. This guide is all about the best vitamin A supplements, and how they can support your health.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a name for a group of compounds that the body uses to support a number of organs and systems. It comes from compounds known as retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids come from animal sources, such as fish liver and egg yolk, and includes retinol.  Carotenoids come from plant sources, such as carrots, tomatoes and dark leafy greens. They are also called forms of “provitamin A” because the body has to convert them into usable retinoids. Important carotenoids include beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and more.

Vitamin A supplements may provide you with usable retinoids from animal sources, or carotenoids that the body will convert into vitamin A. They may come in capsules, liquid softgels, tablets and more. Some multivitamins also contain vitamin A.

Uses & Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an important fat-soluble vitamin with a variety of roles in the body. Some of the most notable vitamin A benefits include:

  • Antioxidant: Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which helps to ward off damage caused by free radicals in the body. Antioxidants have a wide range of benefits and can help to reduce inflammation, protect skin and eye health, and slow aging. Vitamin A is commonly used primarily for its antioxidant properties, which are well documented.
  • Eye health: Vitamin A plays an important role in retinal health, particularly in aging individuals. Beta carotene in particular (the form of vitamin A that’s found in plants) can help protect against macular degeneration. Experts recommend obtaining adequate vitamin A through dietary sources and warn that taking too much in supplement form may have a detrimental effect.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation is a root cause of a wide range of health concerns. Vitamin A, and other antioxidants like it, can help to reduce inflammation levels in the body. Vitamin A fights free radicals, which if left unchecked can worsen inflammation and cause cellular damage. Thus, vitamin A is thought to have a beneficial effect on inflammation, which in turn can greatly reduce the risk of a variety of health problems.
  • Skin health: Vitamin A may be beneficial for skin health. Skin is very retinoid-responsive, and vitamin A is retinoid-rich. It’s needed in the body for forming glycoproteins, which help cells bind together to form new skin tissue. Vitamin A is used for a variety of skin health purposes, both topically using creams and orally using supplements. There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin A may be beneficial in countering acne and skin cancer, although more research is needed.
  • Cancer: Vitamin A can help to control malignant cells in the body, which may be beneficial in certain types of cancer. Retinoic acid has been shown to suppress lung, ovarian, breast, oral, skin and prostate cancers. More research is needed to explore the potential anticancer effects of vitamin A.

Overall, vitamin A is an important nutrient for several aspects of our health. With that said, it’s best to get vitamin A naturally from the diet. Supplements may be beneficial in certain circumstances, but most people can obtain enough from their diets alone.

Who Can Benefit from Vitamin A?

  • Aging Adults – Aging adults can benefit from the vitamin A through its anti-aging benefits. It helps to support vision through the aging process.  It may help age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and slow retinitis pigmentosa as well. Because vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory benefits, it also helps to support the immune system, skin health and cardiovascular health. As we age, our immunity steadily decreases from the stresses of aging, reducing our ability to fight off illness and disease.
  • Those with Weak Immune Systems – Vitamin A helps to support and improve weakened immune systems in general. It helps to protect the immune system (which includes organ systems throughout the body) from oxidative damage from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules generated from unhealthy foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, air pollutants and pesticides. Vitamin A neutralizes these damaging molecules, protecting the immune system from being damaged. It also is anti-inflammatory and helps to regulate and strengthen the immune system.
  • Those with Acne – Acne is a skin condition that is characterized by the formation of excessive pimples in places such the face, back, neck, shoulders and chest. Pimples form when pores and hair follicles become clogged from excess sebum (oil) produced by the skin. Acne is a common condition among young adults going through puberty, but anyone can get the condition. Oxidative stress from free radicals can contribute to the development of acne.  Vitamin A may be able to help neutralize free radicals, and also to reduce the amount of clog-pouring sebum produced by the skin.
  • Those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a name for a group of conditions characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract. Types of these conditions include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Vitamin A helps to reduce inflammation, which is the primary mechanism of IBD. Those with IBD also have a harder time absorbing important nutrients from foods and are at a higher risk of deficiency.

How to Take Vitamin A

Vitamin A supplements are available as preformed supplements or as carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A makes a very effective vitamin A product, because it is already in a form that is usable by the body. Most vitamin A supplements come in forms including vitamin A pills, capsules, tablets and more. Vitamin A is fat soluble and should be taken with food.

Are There Any Beneficial Vitamin A Stacks?

Vitamin A can be stacked with other vitamins and minerals to improve efficacy. For example, it can be stacked with vitamins C, E and zinc to potentially reduce progression of Age Related Macular Degeneration. For those with absorption issues, vitamin A can be stacked with other essential vitamins to prevent deficiencies and create a good vitamin A stack.

Vitamin A Side Effects

Vitamin A is generally safe when taken in healthy dosages. Long term consumption of large vitamin A doses can cause side effects such as anorexia, fatigue, nausea and more.

What to Look for in a Good Vitamin A Supplement

A good vitamin A supplement should be manufactured by a reliable brand using quality ingredients. It should also contain the best preformed vitamin A, because this is readily used by the body. An effective vitamin A product should also be affordable and free from unnecessary fillers, binders and additives.

Preformed vitamin A can be found from animal sources, such as fish liver oil, or can be synthetically made. Synthetic vitamin A is called vitamin A palmitate, and is good for vegans, vegetarians and those allergic to fish.

Top 10 Vitamin A Products Compared

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1. Now Foods Vitamin A

Best Vitamin A Supplements to buy

Now Foods Vitamin A is a highly reviewed vitamin A supplement that provides you with a healthy vitamin A dosage from fish liver oil. It is a quick releasing softgel that is affordable but does not sacrifice quality.

Highlights:

  • 25,000 IU vitamin A (from fish liver oil)
  • Affordable
  • Vitamin A from fish liver oil
  • No wheat, yeast, gluten, milk, egg or shellfish
  • Manufactured in a GMP certified facility

Who Makes It?

Now Foods is an affordable natural supplement producer that was founded in 1968. They are Non-GMO Project verified and have numerous gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian supplements. Since the company’s founding, they have developed numerous award winning natural supplements and have won awards as a company for their sustainability and ethical animal treatment, as well as being a top company to work for.

Bottom Line: This is perhaps, the #1 vitamin A supplement on the market due to its high quality, efficacy and affordability.  It has all the vitamin A benefits you could desire and uses natural vitamin A that can be used directly by the body. Made ethically by a reliable brand at a fantastic price point, you can’t go wrong!

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2. Nature’s Way Vitamin A 10,000 IU

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Nature’s Way Vitamin A 10,000 IU is a powerful vitamin A supplement that comes in the form of vitamin A pills. The pills are encapsulated in softgels to promote maximum absorption. This high quality and affordable vitamin A supplement is sourced naturally from Atlantic cod liver oil and produced in a GMP certified facility. It is free from gluten, sugar, salt, wheat, corn, dairy products, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

Highlights:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin A (from Atlantic cod liver oil)
  • Affordable
  • Naturally sourced vitamin A
  • Free from gluten, sugar, salt, wheat, corn and dairy
  • Free from artificial flavors, colors and preservatives
  • Manufactured in a GMP certified facility

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Way is a natural supplement producer that is one of the first brands to be certified to be TRU-ID, meaning that their supplement facts accurately reflect their ingredients. They are partners with the Non-GMO Project and manufacture their supplements in a GMP certified facility. The company was founded by Tom Murdock in 1968.

Bottom Line: This is one of the highest rated vitamin A supplements on the market with powerful health benefits. It is naturally produced from Atlantic cod liver oil and manufactured in a GMP certified facility. Made by one of the most reliable natural supplement producers, this affordable vitamin A pill is a good pick.

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3. Thorne Research Vitamin A

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Thorne Research Vitamin A is a strong vitamin A supplement that is vegetarian! Many natural sources of vitamin A come from animals, making it hard for vegetarians to find effective vitamin A supplements. This supplement uses vitamin A palmitate that is produced synthetically. Now, vegetarians can take an effective vitamin A supplement that is affordable and manufactured by a reliable brand. Thorne Research Vitamin A is non-GMO and hypoallergenic as well, making it a top vitamin A supplement that almost anyone can take.

Highlights:

  • 25,000 IU vitamin A (as palmitate)
  • Affordable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-GMO, vegetarian and free from gluten
  • Powerful antioxidant

Who Makes It?

Thorne Research is a nutritional supplement producer that has been manufacturing high-quality, research-based supplements for over 30 years. They are a leading nutritional supplement manufacturer that helps to support the health of customers worldwide. Their products are non-GMO and produced in a GMP certified facility.

Bottom Line: This is one of the best vitamin A supplements on the market for vegetarians and those with allergies. It uses a synthetic form of vitamin A that provides the body with preformed vitamin A it can utilize, without having to source it from animals. It also provides a healthy vitamin A supplement dosage at an affordable price.

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4. Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A

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Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A is a hypoallergenic, vitamin A pill that is formulated with a blend of vitamin A from Norwegian cod liver oil and vitamin A palmitate. It is free from artificial additives, environmental contaminants, added excipients and GMOs. It contains a healthy vitamin A supplement dosage at an affordable price.

Highlights:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin A (from Norwegian cod liver oil and vitamin A palmitate)
  • Affordable
  • Blend of vitamin A palmitate and vitamin A from cod liver oil
  • Free from artificial additives, environmental contaminants, added excipients
  • Gluten free and non-GMO
  • Antioxidant
  • Supports overall health

Drawbacks:

  • Though it is hypoallergenic, it contains fish

Who Makes It?

Pure Encapsulations is a hypoallergenic nutritional supplement brand that prides itself on providing some of the highest quality, effective and pure supplements on the market. They manufacture dietary supplements that are research-based and use premium ingredients to do so.

Bottom Line: This is one of the better vitamin A supplements on the market, produced by one of the best nutritional supplement brands. It is free from artificial additives, environmental contaminants, added excipients and GMOs, and it is manufactured in a GMP certified facility. However, it is not fully hypoallergenic, because it does contain fish.

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5. Source Naturals Vitamin A

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Source Naturals Vitamin A is a vitamin A palmitate tablet is a good supplement for vegetarians due to its vegetarian capsule and synthetic vitamin A source. This product is free from yeast, dairy, egg, gluten and wheat, and it contains no artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives. Overall, it is a solid vitamin A supplement.

Highlights:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin A (as palmitate)
  • Made in the USA
  • Free from yeast, dairy, gluten and wheat
  • No artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives

Drawbacks:

  • May smell bad

Who Makes It?

Source Naturals is a vitamin and herbal supplement producer that was founded in 1982 by Ira Goldberg. The company has been recognized for its excellence and produced award-winning supplement formulas for improving overall health. They were one of the first companies to combine herbs, nutraceuticals and nutrients into one formulation.

Bottom Line: Thorne Research Vitamin A is a top vitamin A product for vegetarians and is produced in tablet form using synthetic vitamin A palmitate. It is a high quality and effective vitamin A supplement for a great price. However, due to its tablet form, it may be perceived by some consumers to have a bad smell.

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6. Country Life Vitamin A

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Country Life Dry Vitamin A is a water dispersible vitamin A supplement made from vitamin A as retinyl palmitate. Half of the formulation is vitamin A from beta-carotene, and half of it is vegetarian preformed vitamin A. This vitamin A tablet is also free from gluten, yeast, wheat, soy, milk, salt, sugar, preservatives and artificial colors. It is also certified vegan and kosher parve.

Highlights:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate and 50% beta-carotene)
  • Affordable
  • Vegan and kosher parve
  • Free from gluten, yeast, wheat, soy, milk, salt, and sugar
  • Free from preservatives and artificial colors
  • Powerful source of antioxidants

Drawbacks:

  • May smell bad
  • Lower preformed vitamin A supplement dosage

Who Makes It?

Country Life Vitamins is a family-owned nutritional supplement producer that was established in 1971. Their manufacturing facility Is certified USDA Organic and GMP certified. They have multiple brands under their belt, including Biochem, Iron-Tek, and Desert Essence.

Bottom Line: This is an effective vitamin A supplement for vegans, and it is also gluten free and kosher parve. It is affordable and manufactured by a reliable brand as well. However, it is in tablet form, which means it may have a bad smell to some consumers. It also is 50% beta-carotene, so it has a lower dosage of preformed vitamin A than some alternatives.

7. Freeda Vitamin A Palmitate

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Freeda Vitamin A Palmitate is a vitamin A palmitate tablet that is free from gluten, lactose, artificial color and flavor, animal derivatives, sugar, starch, gelatin and yeast. It is a good vitamin A supplement for vegans and vegetarians, and it is effective and simple to take.

Highlights:

  • 15,000 IU vitamin A (as vitamin A palmitate)
  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Free from gluten, lactose, animal derivatives, sugar, starch, gelatin and yeast
  • Free from artificial color and flavor
  • Vitamin A palmitate tablet

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • May smell bad

Who Makes It?

Freeda Vitamins is a nutritional supplement brand that has been established for over 83 years. They employ nutritionists and pharmacists that are available to answer any questions consumers may have, and their products are made with only the best quality ingredients.

Bottom Line: This is a top vitamin A supplement that provides you with an effective vitamin A supplement dosage, however it is not as affordable as some of the competition. Due to its tablet form, it may also smell bad to some consumers.

8. Vital Nutrients Vitamin A

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Vital Nutrients Vitamin A is one of the best vitamin A pills that is sourced from fish liver oil. It does not include any coatings or binders, and it is tested by independent labs to ensure quality and transparency.

Highlights:

  • 25,000 IU vitamin A (from fish liver oil)
  • Free from coatings, binders, gluten, milk, egg protein and sugar
  • Rich source of antioxidants

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • Some consumers say it is less effective

Who Makes It?

Vital Nutrients is a nutritional supplement manufacturer that is Doctor trusted and holds quality as their top priority. Every batch of their products are independently tested. They exceed the FDA regulations in order to provide consumers with the best quality supplements.

Bottom Line: This is a powerful vitamin A supplement dosage that is sourced naturally from fish liver oil. It is a great vitamin A supplement; however, it is a bit more expensive than some alternatives. Some consumers have also said that it is less effective.

9. BlueBonnet Vitamin A

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BlueBonnet Vitamin A is a vitamin A pill that comes from fish liver oil and is molecularly distilled. It is made using softgel capsules that are easily swallowed, and quickly absorbed by the body. This affordable supplement is free from milk, egg, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat.

Highlights:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin A (from fish liver oil)
  • Affordable
  • Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory

Drawbacks:

  • Soybean oil filler
  • Some say it’s less effective

Who Makes It?

BlueBonnet Nutrition is a natural nutritional supplement producer based out of Texas. Established in 1991, BlueBonnet is now makes over 300 different supplements. They plan to be a leading green and socially responsible brand in the industry.

Bottom Line: This is a good vitamin A supplement for an affordable price. It is made by a reliable manufacturer and uses quality vitamin A. However, it does contain soybean oil as a filler, and some say it’s less effective.

10. Superior Source Vitamin A

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Superior Source Vitamin A is an instantly dissolving vitamin A tablet that is placed under the tongue for quick absorption. It is a good vitamin A supplement for those who do not like swallowing pills, and it provides you with all the vitamin A benefits.

Highlights:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin A (as vitamin A acetate)
  • Affordable
  • Sublingual dissolving tablets
  • Antioxidant rich

Drawbacks:

  • Bad taste
  • May smell bad
  • Includes lactose and stevia

Who Makes It?

Superior Source Vitamins is a nutritional supplement brand that offers vitamins, minerals and nutritional compounds in the form of their MicroLingual delivery system. This system uses small sublingual dissolving tablets for superior absorption.

Bottom Line: If you hate swallowing pills, this may be a good vitamin A supplement for you. It is affordable and effective. However, it may have a bad taste and smell to some people. It also is formulated with lactose and stevia to improve flavor.