Benefits: Helps eye disorders. Necessary for
grown of bones and reproduction system. Builds body's immunity system. Helps treat acne and other skin problems when applied externally. Promotes healthy skin. May help arthritis.
Good food sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, leafy
vegetables, broccoli, squash.
Cautions: Consult doctor if you have: Cystic fibrosis, gout, diabetes, intestinal
disease with diarrhea, kidney disease, liver disease, overactive
thyroid function, disease of the pancreas. Don't
take mega-doses if pregnant or breast-feeding.
Substance interactions: These medications decrease the absorption
of vitamin A: Antacids, cholestyramine, colestipol, tobacco, excessive
alcohol use. These increase the likelihood of vitamin-A toxicity:
mineral oil, neomycin, sucralfate, isioretinoin. Anti-coagulants
increases likelihood of spontaneous or hidden bleeding.
toxicity: Bleeding from gums or sore mouth. Confusion or agitation.
Headache. Dry and peeling skin. Seizures and vomiting.
* Toxicity to vitamin A is not common, but a safer form of the
vitamin is beta-carotene (water-soluble precursor of vitamin A).
It offers better protection against cancer. Algae-derived vitamin
A is also a safe alternative.
* Some beta-carotenes will turn the
skin slightly orange. This is harmless and will fade as the beta-carotene
level returns to normal.
* Combining vitamin A with vitamin
D will help to promote healthy skin. Also may control premenstrual
acne and oiliness.
* Both vitamin A and beta-carotene in large
doses can damage the liver of a heavy drinker.