Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for normal functioning of the retina, and its deficiency causes night blindness, which used to be fairly common until the latter half of the twentieth century. Beta-carotene is converted by the body's natural enzymes into vitamin A, and eating beta-carotene-rich foods like carrots prevents vitamin A deficiency. Both beta-carotene and vitamin A are antioxidants and free-radical scavengers, and many people take them regularly as antiaging medications. However, unlike vitamin E, vitamin A has not yet been tested against Alzheimer's disease or milder forms of memory loss.

Vitamin A: Doses and Side Effects

If you take vitamin A, your daily supplementation dose should be 10,000 to 50,000 units daily. Another option is to take 10,000 to 25,000 units of vitamin A together with 15 mg of beta-carotene daily. Vitamin A is fat soluble, meaning that if ingested in excess it cannot easily be flushed out by the kidneys like water-soluble vitamins (B complex and C), and it requires liver enzymes to detoxify the extra amount. Luckily, side effects occur only above 200,000 units daily, so the recommended therapeutic doses are safe.

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