Several organic compounds fall under the descriptive umbrella of 'Vitamin A', including retinol, retinal, and beta carotene (one of several carotenoids). Vitamin A is best known as a critical vitamin for good eyesight. This is because retinol can be converted into a pigment put to use in the rods of the retina within the eye. This pigment greatly increases that rod cell's sensitivity to light, increasingly our visual acuity during low-light situations. Thus a lack of Vitamin A can result in night blindness. However, Vitamin A is also critical to gene expression (particularly in relation to healthy skin), the immune system, and embryonic development.
The carotenoids, such as beta carotene, can be metabolically transformed into retinal within the human body, for which reason they are also called provitamin A. Cod liver oil, dandelion greens, and carrots are all excellent sources of Vitamin A.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[YEA] 11/29/2009: Frances A from Jacksonville, Florida: "Recurring boils and similar large, painful pimples
After age 21 I had terrible huge pimples. When my pharmacist told me that some derms prescribed Vitamin A, I started on it immediately.. It was like a miracle, a moderate miracle. The huge deep pimples stopped and my skin improved in other ways.
I used to take 50,000 units a day but now I would limit myself to 25,000 units per day. Just be patient and don't stop the treatment."
06/23/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "Cod liver oil is a great way to quickly up your Vitamin A intake. I like to use it in the winter time because it gives me extra vitamin D also. You'll know if you have reached your own Vitamin A limit when you get real dry lips. Food wise, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are high in Vit A as well as liver. Prescription Vitamin A is used for Acne, that is what Accutane is, a megadose of Vitamin A. Yes it is *blech* but it is effective."
[YEA] 12/28/2009: Joyce from Joelton, Tn: "Been browsing some old newsletters of Jonathan Wright's and came across this and started wondering if calloused heels and cracked heels might not have the same basic problem. Some of EC'ers might like to try this & see if it could get rid of them.
Subject: callouses on heels (wonder what this would do with the cracked heels?)
Get rid of calluses for good
Q: I've had very thick heel calluses for most of my adult life. I've tried everything from lotions to scraping to soaking and nothing seems to work. Is there anything that will help?
Dr. Wright: In the 1970s, I read a book about nutrition and general medicine written by a Yale professor. In that book, he observed that heavy heel calluses were a sign of long- term vitamin A deficiency. He recommended vitamin A supplementation for individuals with this problem.
Since that time, I have recommended the same treatment for my patients and have found it quite reliable, although in many cases it takes three to four months to begin to see results, and complete disappearance of the calluses can take eight months or more.
For adults, the dose is 75,000 units of vitamin A per day until the calluses are gone. Then you can decrease your dose to a "maintenance amount" of 15,000 to 25,000 units per day. (If the calluses return, the quantity can be increased once more.) In over 20 years, I've never observed any adverse effects with this treatment."
[YEA] 01/16/0011: John H from Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, Uk: "For years I had a cough without apparent reason (no infection). I then noticed if I ate liver the cough completely disappeared within 24 hours. Further investigation showed that I just has a Vitamin A deficiency and the problem was resolved eating liver once a week or taking a Vitamin A supplement. I have found that Vitamin A retinol works much better the carrots (carotin) but be aware not to have too much retinol. I have tested this by stopping the Vitamin A and the cough returns. This is worth a try for anyone having a chronic cough or any mucus membrane problems."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 06/09/2008: June from KC, KS: "Hi EarthClinic! I read somewhere that tinnitis is a symptom of premenopause. I cannot find where I read that but I began taking vitamin a to combat the problem because the same literature suggested it. It helped a lot. Recently, though, I forgot about taking vitamin a... and that it was a remedy for tinnitis... and the ringing is back in my ears! It's really an awful and annoying problem.
I started taking vitamin a again and am really hoping it relieves me of this problem again. It seemed to work before so I thought I would share it here as there is little information on EC about tinnitis. I did look up herbal remedies on a site where I sometimes buy supplements and it did say vitamin a is one possible treatment.
BTW, EarthClinic, the new website looks great! Very professional!