Roundup of the best vitamin A supplements, including Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil, Swanson Beta Carotene, and PURE Therapro vegan A D K dropsShare on Pinterest

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Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that plays a key role in many aspects of health.

Though it is found naturally in a variety of food sources, many people also choose to supplement with vitamin A for its eye health and antioxidant benefits (1).

Additionally, some populations 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 (1).

Here are a dietitian’s picks of the 8 best vitamin A supplements of 2022.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s vital for healthy cell formation and vision. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, which means it can help prevent and reverse cellular damage from oxidative stress (1).

Liver, eggs, milk, and other animal foods contain vitamin A. The vitamin’s 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 (1).

Vitamin A is also widely available as a supplement — either on its own or combined with other vitamins and minerals — in capsule, softgel, and liquid form.

Potential benefits

Increasing your intake of vitamin A may be associated with several health benefits.

In particular, it may help support eye health by neutralizing free radicals and slowing the progression of disorders such as age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss (2, 3).

Vitamin A also plays a central role in decreasing inflammation and enhancing immune function (4).

Additionally, vitamin A is involved in maintaining skin health and can promote wound healing, support the health of the skin microbiome, and protect against issues like acne and skin infections (5, 6, 7).

How to use vitamin A supplements

Though vitamin A supplements should not be used to replace a well-rounded diet, they can help fill in any gaps in your meal plan.

Vitamin A is often available in single-nutrient supplements and used to promote eye health and immunity. It’s also found in many topical skin care products and multivitamins or multinutrient blends.

Vitamin A supplements may be recommended for people at a higher risk of deficiency, including individuals with cystic fibrosis, women and children in developing countries, and premature infants (1).

Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional before taking a vitamin A supplement, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

The supplements on this list were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Third-party testing. We prioritized supplements that are third-party tested.
  • Ingredient quality. The highest quality supplements contain a limited number of additives and fillers.
  • Dosage. Supplements provide varying amounts of vitamin A to help you meet your needs.
  • Absorption. Each product contains added fat or oil and is formulated to maximize absorption (8).
  • Form. We included supplements made with various forms of vitamin A to provide options for everyone.
  • Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) 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 than other formulations.

Note that serving sizes vary by product.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.50 per serving
  • $$ = $0.50–$1 per serving
  • $$$ = over $1 per serving

Best overall

Pure TheraPro Rx Vegan A-D-K Full Spectrum Drops

  • Price: $
  • Type: liquid drops
  • Dose: 167% of the Daily Value (DV) per 5 drops

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 better absorb fat-soluble vitamins (9).

In retinol activity equivalents (RAE) — a unit used to measure the amount of vitamin A that is provided after it is converted into its active form — this product provides 167% of the DV.

However, it’s important to 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 take fat-soluble vitamin supplements only when directed to do so by a healthcare professional (1).

To help minimize your risk of toxicity, be sure to limit your daily intake of vitamin A supplements to the serving size recommended on the supplement label.

Pros

  • convenient liquid form
  • third-party tested
  • non-GMO, vegan, soy-free
  • cost effective

Cons

  • not ideal for those who prefer a single-nutrient supplement
  • may be unpalatable to some

Best vegetarian

Swanson Beta Carotene

  • Price: $
  • Type: softgels
  • Dose: 333% of the DV per softgel

Each serving of this beta carotene supplement provides 333% of the DV for vitamin A in RAE.

However, because it’s made with beeswax, it isn’t vegan-friendly. It also contains some additives, including 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 is 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 and safety.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • affordable
  • contains a high amount of vitamin A per serving

Cons

  • not suitable for vegans or people with a severe soy allergy

Best cod liver oil

Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil

  • Price: $
  • Type: softgels
  • Dose: 3% of the DV per 3 softgels

Nordic Naturals is one of the most trusted omega-3 fish oil brands on the market, and the brand’s cod liver oil is equally high quality.

In addition to being third-party tested for purity, this oil is sustainably sourced from Atlantic cod.

The supplement contains just three ingredients — cod liver oil, the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol, and rosemary extract, which serves as a natural preservative.

One serving contains 3% of the DV for vitamin A. The supplement is available in flavors like lemon, orange, and strawberry, which may make the otherwise strong-tasting cod liver oil easier to take.

Pros

  • available in several flavors
  • third-party tested
  • sustainably sourced
  • simple ingredients

Cons

  • contains a low amount of vitamin A per serving
  • requires multiple softgels per serving
  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best cod liver oil with vitamin D

Carlson Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil

  • Price: $$
  • Type: liquid
  • Dose: 28% of the DV per teaspoon (5 mL)

Carlson is another trusted source of high quality omega-3 fish oil and cod liver oil supplements.

The brand’s cod liver oil is certified by International Fish Oil Standards, 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.

Pros

  • third-party certified
  • convenient liquid form
  • multiple flavors available

Cons

  • more expensive than similar products
  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best affordable

Swanson Vitamin A

  • Price: $
  • Type: softgels
  • Dose: 333% of the DV per softgel

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 333% of the DV for vitamin A.

Pros

  • affordable
  • third-party tested
  • contains a concentrated amount of vitamin A in each softgel
  • simple ingredients

Cons

  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best single-nutrient

NOW Foods Vitamin A 10,000 IU

  • Price: $
  • Type: softgels
  • Dose: 200% of the DV per softgel

This supplement from NOW Foods features a simple, straightforward list of ingredients, including vitamin A from fish liver oil, soybean oil to increase absorption, and a softgel capsule.

The supplement provides 200% of the DV for vitamin A per serving and is non-GMO and free of soy.

NOW Foods is also certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a third-party organization that evaluates facilities to verify that companies adhere to good manufacturing practices.

Pros

  • non-GMO and free of soy
  • certified by UL
  • inexpensive
  • high per-serving dose

Cons

  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best liquid

Klaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A Liquid

  • Price: $
  • Type: liquid drops
  • Dose: 167% of the DV per drop

Klaire Labs is a highly trusted supplement brand among healthcare professionals. Although Klaire Labs products can be purchased over the counter, they’re designed to be prescribed by professionals.

The company’s products are manufactured in a facility that complies with current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Klaire Labs’ 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.

Pros

  • made in CGMP-compliant facilities
  • budget-friendly
  • highly concentrated
  • micellized to maximize absorption
  • free of major allergens

Cons

  • may be unpalatable to some
  • not third-party tested

Best for vision support

Pure Encapsulations Macular Support Formula

  • Price: $$
  • Type: capsules
  • Dose: 833% of the DV per 2 capsules

Pure Encapsulations is a trusted, highly recommended brand among healthcare professionals. The brand employs several third-party testing labs to verify its supplements, including Silliker, Eurofins, Intertek, 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. These include vitamin C, n-acetyl-cysteine, glutathione, bilberry extract, grape extract, lutein, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids (10).

The product is gluten-free and 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 professional to minimize your risk of vitamin A toxicity.

Pros

  • contains a blend of nutrients to support vision
  • free of major allergens
  • certified gluten-free
  • vegan-friendly
  • third-party tested

Cons

  • high dosage that may not be suitable for everyone
  • costs more than similar products

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

Price rangeType% of the DVThird-party testedBest for
Pure TheraPro Rx Vegan A-D-K Full Spectrum Drops$liquid167%yesvegans
Swanson Beta Carotene$softgel333%yes• vegetarians
• those needing a higher dose
Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil$softgel3%yescod liver oil with vitamin A
Carlson Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil$$liquid28%noliquid cod liver oil with vitamins A and D
Swanson Vitamin A$softgel333%yes• tight budgets
• those needing a higher dose
NOW Foods Vitamin A 10,000 IU$softgel200%nosingle-nutrient
Klaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A Liquid$liquid167%noconcentrated liquid dose
Pure Encapsulations Macular Support Formula$$capsule833%yes• vision support
• those needing a high dose

Choosing the right vitamin A supplement depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Dietary needs and preferences. Be sure to carefully read ingredient lists to find a product that’s suitable for any dietary needs or preferences you might have, such as a food allergy.
  • Active ingredients. If you need only vitamin A, you may decide to stick to a stand-alone vitamin A supplement. However, if you’re looking for a more well-rounded, natural option, you may choose cod liver oil. People looking to take vitamin A to support vision should choose a supplement that’s specifically targeted to vision support.
  • Additional ingredients. 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 (8).
  • Testing. When possible, choose a supplement that has undergone third-party testing to ensure product quality. While the 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 contains the ingredients listed on the label.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that excess amounts are stored in your liver and can accumulate in your body (1).

For this reason, taking high doses of vitamin A can cause several serious side effects, including (1):

  • fetal development irregularities
  • dizziness
  • skin irritation
  • joint or bone pain
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • coma

Some older observational studies have also found that having increased blood levels of vitamin A could be linked to a higher risk of bone loss and fractures, though more research is needed (11, 12).

Other research suggests that beta carotene supplementation could be associated with a higher risk of lung cancer in people who smoke, but results are mixed (13, 14, 15).

What is the best form of vitamin A?

The best form of vitamin A depends on your personal needs and preferences. Many vitamin A supplements contain preformed vitamin A in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate, types of retinol also found in animal products and fortified foods (1).

Vegetarian and vegan vitamin A supplements generally consist of carotenoids, plant-based precursors that are converted into vitamin A in the body. The best-known carotenoid is beta carotene, but there are several others (1).

Cod liver oil is another option that some people may prefer over stand-alone supplements, as it contains several other essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

However, cod liver oil tends to be lower in vitamin A than other forms, which may not be suitable for those with a deficiency.

Is it okay to take vitamin A every day?

Daily supplementation may be recommended for people who have a vitamin A deficiency or have certain health conditions.

However, taking too much vitamin A can be harmful, so it’s best to talk with a healthcare professional and use vitamin A supplements only as directed.

Who should not take vitamin A?

People who are pregnant should not take high doses of vitamin A, as it may increase the risk of fetal development irregularities.

People who regularly consume liver, smoke, or take other supplements that contain vitamin A should also avoid using supplements unless advised by a healthcare professional (1, 16).

Older adults and postmenopausal people should also consult a healthcare professional before using vitamin A supplements, as some research suggests that higher intakes of vitamin A could contribute to bone loss (11, 16).

How much vitamin A should I take per day?

The general recommendation is that adult women consume at least 700 mcg of vitamin A per day and adult men consume at least 900 mcg per day, from both food sources and supplements (1).

It’s important not to consume more than 3,000 mcg per day from foods and supplements — this amount is the daily upper limit for vitamin A (1).

What are good food sources of vitamin A?

Vitamin A is found in a variety of foods, including animal products like liver, fish oils, milk, cheese, and eggs (1).

Plant-based sources of vitamin A include leafy green vegetables, tomato products, sweet potatoes, carrots, and fortified cereals (1).

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 have a vitamin A deficiency or are 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 and should follow a healthcare professional’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 8 options are a great starting point for choosing a high quality, third-party-verified vitamin A supplement.