We know: All About Retinol

What is retinol?

Retinol is the form of vitamin A found in animal products such as fish oils and liver. The form of vitamin A found in vegetables is called beta-carotene.

In order to absorb and use vitamin A, your body needs an adequate intake of both protein and fat.

What happens if you have too little vitamin A?

Too little vitamin A can lead to night vision problems, dry eyes, eye infections, skin problems, and a slowing in growth. Doctors sometimes treat these problems by prescribing vitamin A.

What does retinol do for wrinkled skin or aging?

It has not yet been proven that vitamin A is effective for treatment of conditions such as dry or wrinkled skin, acne or eye problems.

However, vitamin A is being used to prevent certain types of cancer. Still, some researchers feel there is not enough information to show that this is effective.

Do I need a prescription for vitamin A?

For vitamin A injections, you must go to a healthcare worker.

Other types of vitamin A, such as capsules, tablets and oral solutions are available without a prescription, although you should talk to your doctor before increasing your intake of vitamin A.

Are there problems with taking vitamin A?

You should be especially careful about taking vitamin A if you have allergies, are pregnant, breast feeding, or are child or elderly. Also, be sure that the vitamin A you're taking doesn't interfere or react with other medications you may be taking.

Be careful: Taking too much vitamin A can cause unwanted side effects like bleeding gums, irritability, peeling skin, dizziness, or a bulging soft spot on a baby's head.

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