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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.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.
Generally, prices range from $0.03–$1.40 per serving, or $4.50–$83.50 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
Cod liver oil and products specifically designed to aid vision tend to have a higher price per serving, compared with other formulations.
Note that serving sizes vary by product.
- $ = under $0.50 per serving
- $$ = $0.50–$1 per serving
- $$$ = over $1 per serving
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.
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.
These liquid supplements provide a convenient, highly concentrated, and easily absorbable form of pure vitamin A.
Vitamin A is a key component of many vision support supplements, although these supplements may also contain a variety of other nutrients or botanicals.
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 (
Useful supplement shopping guides
Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:
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.