The Best Vitamin A Supplements of 2022

Person taking supplements


Although you can certainly meet your vitamin A needs from diet alone, some people choose to supplement with it for its vision-promoting and antioxidant-boosting benefits. That being said, Vitamin A supplements come in many forms, some of which are not necessarily created equal.

To help you select the best option for your goals, the ACTIVE Reviews Team has compiled a curated list of the best vitamin A supplements of 2022, broken down into specific categories.

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The Best Vitamin A Supplements - Our Top Picks

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Our Rating Scale

Flavor scale for supplements (scale of 1-3):

N/A = Unflavored
1 = 1-2 flavor options
2 = 3-4 flavor options
3 = 5 or more flavor options

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble nutrients found in many of the foods we eat. In addition to promoting good vision, its other main functions include aiding in white blood cell formation, facilitating bone remodeling, regulating cell growth and division, as well as maintaining endothelial cell health (cells which line the body's interior surfaces).

There are two forms of vitamin A commonly found in food which include preformed vitamin A (retinol and retinyl esters) and provitamin A carotenoids (think, carrots). Preformed vitamin A typically comes from animal sources whereas provitamin A carotenoids are usually plant-based. The latter require conversion in the body to form vitamin A.

Considering that it's fat soluble, vitamin A is processed in the body in a similar manner to fats and can be stored in the liver for later use.

Benefits of Vitamin A

Boosting your vitamin A intake, whether by supplementing or simply increasing your dietary intake, may provide a number of potential health benefits.

Most notably, vitamin A is known to promote vision health by reducing the effects of free radicals and slowing the progression of certain vision disorders that can lead to diminished eyesight. This important vitamin aids in keeping your cornea (the outermost layer of your eye) clear, preventing vision impairment. In addition, vitamin A helps maintain the surface tissues of the body such as your skin, lungs, inner ear, and intestines.

Considering that active people tend to need more nutrients, supplementing with vitamin A may be a fitting choice for athletes.

How to Use Vitamin A Supplements

Although most people's vitamin A needs can be met through diet, some people may wish to take a supplement form to fill in any gaps.

In general, vitamin A supplements typically come in softgel or capsule form with doses ranging from 250-7,500 mcg RAE (retinol activity equivalents).

Vitamin A doses are usually provided in retinol activity equivalents (RAEs), which account for variations in absorption of the different types of vitamin A.

For most people, it's best to start with a lower dose and increase as needed, though you'll want to check with your healthcare provider for individualized dosing.

Best Overall Vitamin A Supplement - BulkSupplements Vitamin A Softgels

BulkSupplements Vitamin A Softgels

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): N/A
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 softgel
  • Dose: 3,000 mcg RAE, 7,500 mcg RAE depending on size
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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While many of the foods we eat contain vitamin A, some people may still choose to supplement with it to ensure they are maximizing their intake and taking advantage of any potential health benefits. Most multivitamins include a good amount of vitamin A, though for those looking for a high-quality isolated version, BulkSupplements Vitamin A Softgels are our top pick for the best overall vitamin A supplement.

With a simple ingredient panel containing only Vitamin A, this supplement provides 3,000 mcg RAE per softgel in the 10,000iu size and 7,500 mcg RAE in the 25,000iu size—more than enough to meet the daily needs of most people.

This formulation uses Retinyl palmitate, one of the highest quality forms of Vitamin A available. Taking such a supplement on a regular basis can help promote eye, skin, and immune health.

What We Like 

  • Contains high-quality retinyl palmitate form of vitamin A
  • Comes in a variety of doses and container sizes
  • Affordable price point

What We Don't Like

  • May actually contain too much vitamin A for some people
  • Not good for those who don't like swallowing pills

BUY: BulkSupplements Vitamin A Softgels

Best Vitamin A Supplement for Acne - Now Foods Vitamin A Softgels

Now Foods Vitamin A Softgels

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): N/A
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 softgel
  • Dose: 3,000 mcg RAE, 7,500 mcg RAE depending on size
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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Acne is a skin condition in which hair follicles become clogged with oils and dead skin resulting in inflamed bumps. While this is most common in teenagers and young adults, it can affect middle aged people as well. Common treatments include improving face hygiene, applying special creams to the face, and even supplementing with vitamin A.

Now Foods Vitamin A Softgels provide a whopping 7,500 mcg of vitamin A from retinyl palmitate and fish liver oil. This form of vitamin A has potent antioxidant properties that may help reduce facial inflammation brought on by acne.

Traditionally, topical forms of vitamin A are used to treat acne, though oral supplements have also been shown to be effective in reducing severity of acne.

It's important to note that high doses of vitamin A can potentially be toxic to the liver, so you'll want to check with a healthcare provider for individualized dosing.

What We Like

  • Provides 833% of the daily value for vitamin A
  • Sourced from retinyl palmitate and fish liver oil
  • Available in different doses and container sizes

What We Don't Like

  • Dermatologists typically recommend a topical form of vitamin A to resolve acne
  • Dose may be excessive for some users

BUY: Now Foods Vitamin A Softgels

Best Vitamin A Supplement for Skin - BulkSupplements Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) Softgels

BulkSupplements Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) Softgels

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): N/A
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 softgel
  • Dose: 3,000 mcg RAE, 7,500 mcg RAE depending on size
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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Vitamin A serves an important role in maintaining the surface tissues of the body and helps protect your skin from environmental factors such as damaging UV-rays. In fact, many dermatology products contain vitamin A derivatives to help boost skin elasticity and eliminate wrinkles.

When looking for the best vitamin A supplement for skin we sought a product that contained retinyl palmitate, a type of vitamin A that may boost collagen production and smooth wrinkles.

Providing over 300 percent of the daily value for vitamin A in a retinyl palmitate form, BulkSupplements Vitamin A Softgels are a solid choice for people interested in supporting healthy collagen production and skin health.

What We Like

  • Provides high dose of retinyl palmitate to promote skin health
  • Available in 2 dosages and two container sizes
  • Easy to swallow softgel
  • Provides preformed vitamin A for efficient absorption

What We Don't Like

  • Those looking to use vitamin A for skin health may prefer a topical form
  • Bulk packaging may be cumbersome for some users
  • Not suitable for vegans

BUY: BulkSupplements Vitamin A Softgels

Best Vitamin A Supplement for Eyes - Vitamin Shoppe Dry Non-Oily Vitamin A Capsules

Vitamin Shoppe Dry Non-Oily Vitamin A Eye Health Support Capsules

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): N/A
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 capsule
  • Dose: 3,000 mcg RAE
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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Vitamin A is likely best known for its vision-promoting benefits. This important vitamin is a component of rhodopsin, a protein found in your eyes that helps you see in lower light conditions. Additionally, good vitamin A intake has been associated with the prevention of certain eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Boosting your vitamin A intake, whether through diet or supplementation, is a great way to ensure good eye health. Vitamin Shoppe's Dry Non-Oily Vitamin A capsules contain a blend of retinyl acetate and beta carotene, two ingredients proven to support vision.

Beta carotene is a provitamin A compound that is converted into vitamin A in the body. It serves as an antioxidant reducing oxidative stress on the eyes, in turn supporting good vision. Retinyl acetate is the naturally-occuring form of vitamin A that is readily absorbed in the body.

What We Like

  • Provides both provitamin A beta carotene and retinyl acetate
  • Non-oily format for those avoiding softgels
  • Supplies 333% of the daily value for vitamin A
  • Affordable price point

What We Don't Like

  • Beta carotene is not as readily absorbed as other forms of vitamin A
  • Not suitable for vegans

BUY: Vitamin Shoppe Dry Non-Oily Vitamin A Capsules

Best Cod Liver Oil Vitamin A Supplement - Carlson Laboratories Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil

Carlson Laboratories Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil Liquid

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): 1
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 tsp (5 ml)
  • Dose: 255 mcg RAE
  • Calories per serving: 45
  • Fats per serving: 4.5g

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While vitamin A supplements are most commonly provided in softgels or capsules, some people prefer to take them in other forms. One food source that is particularly high in vitamin A is fish liver oil.

Carlson Labs Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of vitamin A, packing 255 mcg RAE per serving. In addition, each serving provides 10 mcg (400 iu) of vitamin D, another important fat soluble nutrient.

As an added bonus, this cod liver oil provides 1100mg of healthy omega-3 fats, which boast potent inflammation-fighting properties. This supplement takes the antioxidant properties of vitamin A and combines them with omega-3s and vitamin D for a trio of health-boosting ingredients.

What We Like

  • Provides a responsible dose of vitamin A supplying 28% of the daily value
  • Includes 10mcg of vitamin D and 1100mg of omega-3s
  • Available flavored, preventing a fishy taste

What We Don't Like

  • Dose of vitamin A may be too low for some people
  • Some users may experience a fishy aftertaste

BUY: Carlson Laboratories Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil

Best Affordable Vitamin A Supplement - 21st Century Vitamin A Softgels

21st Century Vitamin A Softgels

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): N/A
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 softgel
  • Dose: 3,000 mcg RAE
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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While vitamin A supplements are generally fairly inexpensive, some brands provide special formulations, the price of which can really add up. For those looking for an affordable choice that still meets your daily needs, 21st Century Vitamin A Softgels are a solid pick.

At around $0.03 per 3000 mcg serving, this brand provides a standard dose of vitamin A with budget in mind. In addition, this formulation uses the retinol palmitate form of vitamin A for high rates of absorption.

What We Like

  • Very affordable at less than $0.05 per serving
  • Supply a standard 3,000 mcg dose of vitamin A (palmitate)
  • Each bottle provides over a 3-month supply

What We Don't Like

  • Not suitable for vegans
  • Product isn't third-party tested

BUY: 21st Century Vitamin A Softgels

Best Liquid Vitamin A Supplement - Seeking Health Vitamin A Drops

Seeking Health Vitamin A Drops

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): N/A
  • Artificial sweeteners: None noted
  • Serving size: 1 drop
  • Dose: 1,500 mcg RAE
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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Traditionally vitamin A supplements are provided in softgel or capsule form, though people who have difficulty swallowing pills may prefer a different format, such as liquid drops.

Just one drop of Seeking Health's Liquid Vitamin A provides 1,500 mcg RAE of vitamin A as retinyl palmitate. This is a fitting daily dose for most people, and provides just enough vitamin A without a risk of taking too much.

These can conveniently be added to a beverage of choice without imparting any flavor, making them an excellent option for athletes or busy individuals on the go.

What We Like 

  • Each drop supplies 1,500 mcg RAE of vitamin A
  • Vegan and vegetarian friendly
  • Can be conveniently added to a beverage of choice
  • Manufactured in a GMP compliant facility

What We Don't Like

  • Product is not third-party tested
  • Provides less vitamin A than some comparable brands

BUY: Seeking Health Vitamin A Drops

Best Melts Vitamin A Supplement - EZ Melts Vitamin A Melts

EZ Melts Vitamin A Melts

SPECS

  • Flavor options (scale of 1-3): 1
  • Artificial sweeteners: Mannitol
  • Serving size: 1 tablet
  • Dose: 1,500 mcg RAE
  • Calories per serving: None noted

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Although vitamin A supplements are typically found in softgels or capsules, some brands have become creative and offer vitamin A in alternative formats including melts. These are placed on your tongue and dissolved, promoting quick absorption of vitamin A into the bloodstream.

With each EZ Melt providing 167 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, the dosage is comparable to other commonly found forms of vitamin A. Provided in a strawberry flavor, this product offers a more palatable way of supplementing with vitamin A.

What We Like

  • Provide 1,500 mcg RAE of vitamin A per serving
  • Vegan and vegetarian friendly
  • Great option for people who don't like taking pills

What We Don't Like

  • Contain sugar alcohols
  • Some people may need to take 2 tablets to get their required dose

BUY: EZ Melts Vitamin A Melts

FAQs About Vitamin A


What is the best form of vitamin A?

The most common supplement form of vitamin A is retinyl palmitate, popular for its good absorption, wide availability, and affordable cost.

What form of vitamin A is best absorbed?

Generally speaking, the best absorbed forms of vitamin A are the preformed types. These typically come from animal-derived foods. In supplement form, the most common ones include retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate. Other forms of vitamin A such as provitamin A beta carotene must be converted in the body before they are active, making them a bit less efficiently absorbed.

What foods are highest in vitamin A?

Some common preformed vitamin A containing foods include egg yolks, cod liver oil, butter, salmon, and cheddar cheese; whereas some provitamin A sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkin, and red peppers.

Is it OK to take vitamin A every day?

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it can be stored in the body for later use. Thus, it's possible to take too much of it, potentially leading to toxicity. Although most vitamin A supplements are designed to be taken daily, you'll want to check with your healthcare provider for personalized dosing.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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