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Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s vital for healthy cell formation and normal vision. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, meaning it can help prevent and reverse cellular damage from oxidative stress (
Vitamin A is found in liver, eggs, milk, and other animal foods. Its precursors — carotenoids, which can be converted into vitamin A after they have been consumed — are found in a variety of plant foods, including sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, pumpkin, and tomatoes (
Many people choose to supplement with vitamin A for its eye health and antioxidant benefits (
Additionally, some groups at higher risk of vitamin A deficiency may require a supplement, including premature infants, people with cystic fibrosis, and women and children in developing countries (
The supplements on this list were selected based on the following criteria:
- Third-party testing. Supplements that have been third-party tested to verify quality and purity were prioritized.
- Ingredient quality. The highest quality supplements contain a limited number of additives and fillers.
Here are the 11 best vitamin A supplements for 2021.
The vitamin A potential of carotenoids — or how much vitamin A they provide after being converted into active vitamin A in the body — is expressed as retinol activity equivalents (RAE) (
Take note that not all of the products in this category are vegan, as some of them contain beeswax.
This vegan supplement offers three fat-soluble vitamins — vitamins A, D, and K — in a convenient liquid form.
The supplement is third-party tested and free of soy and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It’s also free of fillers, containing only some added fat, which helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins better (
In RAE, it provides 167% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A.
However, you should be careful with fat-soluble vitamin supplements, as the vitamins may accumulate in your stored body fat and cause vitamin toxicity. It’s best to only take fat-soluble vitamin supplements at the direction of your healthcare provider (
Additionally, be sure to limit your daily intake of vitamin A supplements to the serving size recommended on the supplement to help minimize your risk of toxicity.
This beta carotene supplement provides 200% of the DV for Vitamin A in RAE per serving.
However, it’s not strictly vegan, as it’s made with beeswax. It also contains some additives like soy lecithin, an emulsifier that helps keep ingredients from separating within the capsule.
Some people, especially those with severe soy allergies, may need to avoid soy lecithin. However, it’s present in such small amounts in supplements that it shouldn’t be a cause for concern for most people.
This supplement undergoes strict third-party testing to ensure product quality.
This carotenoid supplement from Nutrilite is verified by NSF International, one of the best-known third-party verification labs.
It contains 500% of the DV for vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, as well as some other carotenoids like alpha carotene from palm oil and lutein and zeaxanthin from marigold.
While lutein and zeaxanthin aren’t converted into vitamin A in your body, all of these carotenoids may help improve your vision at night (
This supplement contains some additives like soy lecithin and caramel color. It also contains beeswax, so it’s not appropriate for vegans.
Cod liver oil is pressed from the livers of cod, a type of saltwater fish. It’s a rich source of vitamin A, along with some other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Therefore, some people choose to take cod liver oil as opposed to a standalone vitamin A supplement.
However, keep in mind that cod liver oil does not provide as much vitamin as a dedicated vitamin A supplement. For this reason, it may be more appropriate for people who aren’t vitamin A deficient and therefore don’t need a high dose supplement.
Nordic Naturals is one of the most-trusted omega-3 fish oil brands on the market, and their cod liver oil is equally high in quality.
Not only is it third-party tested for purity but also sustainably sourced from Atlantic cod. It contains just three ingredients — cod liver oil, the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol, and rosemary extract, which serves as a natural preservative.
One serving contains 13% of the DV for vitamin A. You can also purchase different flavors like lemon, orange, and strawberry, which may make the otherwise strong-tasting cod liver oil easier to take.
Carlson is another trusted source of high quality omega-3 fish oil and cod liver oil supplements.
Their cod liver oil is certified by International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), a certifying agency for fish oil products that helps ensure the quality, purity, and safety of products.
In addition to vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fats, this supplement contains 28% of the DV for vitamin A per serving.
These supplements solely contain vitamin A in a softgel form.
This vitamin A supplement from Swanson contains only vitamin A, which is sourced from cod liver oil and vitamin A palmitate, along with a softgel capsule and soybean oil to help boost absorption.
Swanson products are third-party tested to ensure quality, and this supplement provides 200% of the DV for vitamin A.
Nature Made’s Vitamin A is verified by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), one of the best-known and most trusted third-party supplement testing labs. It provides 267% of the DV for vitamin A per serving.
It contains only vitamin A palmitate from fish oil, soybean oil to boost absorption, and a softgel capsule. The supplement is also preservative- and gluten-free.
These liquid supplements provide a convenient, highly concentrated, and easily absorbable form of pure vitamin A.
These vitamin A drops from Great Lakes Nutrition are micellized, meaning that the vitamin A is prepackaged in an easily absorbable, highly concentrated form. A single drop provides 167% of the DV for vitamin A in the form of both vitamin A palmitate and beta carotene.
A single bottle provides nearly a year’s supply of vitamin A for two people.
Great Lakes Nutrition products are also third-party verified, although the organization that conducts the testing is not disclosed.
Klaire Labs is a highly trusted supplement brand among healthcare providers, and although Klaire Labs’ products can be purchased over-the-counter, they’re designed to be prescribed by providers.
Their products are manufactured in a facility that complies with the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) implemented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Their micellized, highly absorbable vitamin A drops provide 167% of the DV for vitamin A per drop. The product is also free of all major allergens.
Vitamin A is a key component of many vision support supplements, although these supplements may also contain a variety of other nutrients or botanicals.
Pure Encapsulations is a trusted, highly recommended brand among healthcare professionals, and they employ several third-party testing labs to verify their supplements, including Silliker, Eurofins, Covance, and Advanced Laboratories.
This supplement contains 833% of the DV for vitamin A per serving in the form of beta carotene and other ingredients that may support your vision, including vitamin C, n-acetyl-cysteine, glutathione, bilberry extract, grape extract, lutein, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids (
It’s gluten-free, allergen-free, and contains only a vegetarian capsule and the antioxidant ascorbyl palmitate, along with the ingredients listed above.
Given the amount of vitamin A it contains, it’s best to take this supplement under the supervision of a healthcare provider to minimize your risk of vitamin A toxicity.
This vision support supplement from Nutrilite is third-party verified by NSF International.
It contains 23% of the DV for vitamin A in each serving, along with lutein from marigolds, bilberry extract, black currant extract, and spinach concentrate, all of which are rich in antioxidants that may help boost your vision and eye health (
However, this supplement contains some additives and fillers, including cornstarch, silicon dioxide, and methylcellulose.
Choosing the right vitamin A supplement depends on a variety of factors.
Vegans or vegetarians should shop for a supplement made with carotenoids.
If you only need vitamin A, you may decide to stick to a standalone vitamin A supplement. However, if you’re looking for a more well-rounded, natural option, you may choose cod liver oil.
Meanwhile, people looking to take vitamin A to support vision should choose a supplement that’s specifically targeted at vision support.
Furthermore, you should choose a supplement that has undergone third-party testing to ensure product quality. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has some oversight of dietary supplements, the standards are minimal, compared with those for prescription drugs.
Third-party testing helps ensure that the product you purchase is safe and contains what’s claimed on the label.
Finally, you should look for a vitamin A supplement that contains some fat in the form of oil, which helps your body absorb vitamin A and other fat-soluble vitamins. Ideally, your supplement should also contain minimal amounts of fillers and other additives (
Vitamin A supplements may be a good idea for you if you’re vitamin A deficient or looking to boost your antioxidant intake or eye health.
However, you should limit your intake to no more than the recommended serving size of the supplement, as well as follow your healthcare provider’s instructions to minimize your risk of vitamin A toxicity.
Carotenoid supplements are an ideal vitamin A source for vegans and vegetarians. You can also get vitamin A from cod liver oil or vision health supplements.
These 11 options are a great starting point for choosing a high quality, third-party-verified vitamin A supplement.