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- you have cystic fibrosis
- you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- you have chronic diarrhea
- you lack adequate nutrition
If you’ve spoken with a health professional and decided that you might need a vitamin A boost via supplement, we’ve identified some of the best options out there.
- Pure TheraPro Rx Vegan A-D-K Full Spectrum Drops
- Swanson Beta Carotene
- Nutrilite Multi Carotene
- Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil
- Carlson Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
- Swanson Vitamin A
- Nature’s Way Vitamin A
- Great Lakes Nutrition Micellized Vitamin A Drops
- Klaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A Liquid
- Embody Multivitamin Retinol Gummy
Don’t Google too hard, now — we did it for you (and more). Here’s how we found the best vitamin A supplements:
- Third-party certifications. We looked for supplements third-party tested by places like global health authority NSF International. It’s one thing when a company says their supplements do this or that — it’s another when an unbiased source confirms it. This helps to ensure the products truly live up to company claims.
- Quality ingredients. We researched the forms of vitamin A that the body’s able to absorb most efficiently and safely, including fish oil, retinyl acetate, and beta-carotene. We then picked products that are free of unnecessary fillers (because srsly, nobody needs that ish in their life).
- Reviews and reputation. We prioritized top-rated supplements (with legit reviews!) and companies with trusted reputations in the industry. The people have spoken!
Here’s the DL on the best vitamin A supplements.
(price per serving)
- $ = under $0.50
- $$ = $0.50–$1
- $$$ = over $1
Side by side comparison
|Supplements||Price||Type||Vitamin A form||Dietary considerations|
|Pure TheraPro Rx Vegan A-D-K Full Spectrum Drops||$||liquid||palmitate and beta-carotene||gluten-free, vegan, soy-free|
|Swanson Beta Carotene||$||softgel||beta-carotene||contains gelatin, beeswax, soy|
|Nutrilite Multi Carotene||$||softgel||beta-carotene||contains beeswax, palm oil|
|Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil||$$$||softgel||cod liver oil||contains fish|
|Carlson Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil||$$||liquid||cod liver oil and palmitate||contains fish|
|Swanson Vitamin A||$||softgel||cod liver oil||contains fish, soybean oil|
|Nature’s Way Vitamin A||$||softgel||fish liver oil and palmitate||contains fish, soybean oil, gelatin|
|Great Lakes Nutrition Micellized Vitamin A Drops||$||liquid||palmitate and beta-carotene||n/a|
|Klaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A Liquid||$$||liquid||palmitate and beta-carotene||n/a|
|Embody Multivitamin Retinol Gummy||$$$||gummy||retinyl acetate||n/a|
Best vegetarian vitamin A supplements
Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, or want to stay away from GMOs, this liquid supplement’s got your back (and your dietary restrictions). It’s also free of soy, fillers, and only contains a bit of added fat, which helps your bod absorb fat-soluble vitamins more easily.
Keep in mind that fat-soluble vitamins can potentially accumulate in your stored body fat and cause vitamin toxicity. There *is* such a thing as too much of a good thing, and in this case, that thing is vitamin A. To stay safe, it’s best to talk with a health pro before taking fat-soluble supplements.
It provides 167 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A. To lower your risk of toxicity, be sure to not go over the recommended serving size. This supplement is third-party tested for safety.
Key ingredients: vitamin A (beta-carotene), gelatin, beeswax, soybean oil
At 200 percent of the DV for vitamin A per serving, this is a solid option. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, it’s a big nope for you, though, since it has gelatin and beeswax. It also has some additives like soy lecithin, an emulsifier that holds ingredients together, that some may be sensitive to consuming (esp. those with soy allergies).
The supplement underwent third-party testing for product quality. Reviewers rave about everything from better eyesight to stronger hair and nails. 💅 A few complained about the vitamins showing up hot and stuck together, but that seems to be more of a rare transit issue, not the product itself.
Key ingredients: vitamin A (beta-carotene) alpha-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, beeswax, palm oil
According to Nutrilite, one serving of these veggie softgels has as much beta-carotene as about 3 ounces (oz.) of cooked spinach, as much alpha-carotene as 1 oz. of raw carrots, and as much lutein and zeaxanthin as 5ish oz. of corn.
Yeah, that’s a whole salad bar and 500 percent of the DV for vitamin A, which might sound like overkill — but it’s currently unclear how well supplemented nutrients are absorbed and used in the body. High intakes of beta-carotene and other forms of vitamin A can be harmful — and it can be easy to overdo it with supplements.
Also, one serving of diff fruits/veggies can rack up your vitamin intake well above the DV without causing any harm.
Since it has beeswax, it’s not legit for vegans. It also has additives that some might not love, like soy lecithin, palm oil, and caramel color. NSF International, a trusted third-party verification lab, says it’s legit.
Best cod liver oil vitamin A supplements
Key ingredients: vitamin A (cod liver oil), alpha-tocopherol, rosemary extract
Nordic Naturals is one of the most popular omega-3 fish oil brands on the market. It’s third-party tested and sustainably sourced from Atlantic cod. It has just three ingredients, including the natural preservative rosemary and the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol.
One serving has 13 percent of the DV for vitamin A. Keep in mind that cod liver oil doesn’t have as much vitamin A as other sources, but it does contain other super beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. For that reason, a supplement like this is best for those who aren’t vitamin A deficient but want a little healthy omega-3 boost.
Lots of people can’t stomach the taste of cod liver, but it also comes in different flavors like strawberry, lemon, and orange if that sounds like you.
Key ingredients: vitamin A (cod liver oil and retinyl palmitate), vitamin D3, omega-3 fatty acids
Carlson has been around since 1965 as a trusted name in the cod liver oil game. This oil is certified by International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), an agency that ensures the quality, purity, and safety of products.
On top of vitamin D, E, and omega-3 fats, this supplement has 28 percent of the DV for vitamin A per serving.
Reviewers say it works for everything from clearing acne to strengthening joints to relieving pain and inflammation. As a bonus, some love how it tastes way better than the cod liver oil from their youth. (But others complain about the lemony flavor. Can’t win ‘em all.)
Key ingredients: vitamin A (cod liver oil), soybean oil
If you’re looking for straight-up vitamin A with no added vites, this is it. Sourced from cod liver oil and vitamin A palmitate, this softgel capsule will do the trick.
It does have soybean oil to aid in absorption, which some reviewers don’t love — some because it’s a GMO crop; others because they stay away from soy. Pros, though: Reviewers like the pills are easy to swallow and don’t have an aftertaste or bad smell. It’s also pretty cheap for what you get.
Swanson products are third-party tested. This supplement has 200 percent of the DV for vitamin A.
Best value vitamin A supplement
Key ingredients: vitamin A (from fish liver oil and retinyl palmitate), soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin
If you want some bang for your buck, Nature’s Way Vitamin A is a great pick. It’ll pretty much do what the other supplements do, but for less money. The products do undergo third-party testing, though the facility isn’t named.
The company did face a scandal previously, though, which *could* explain their low, low prices. In 2015, the company CEO vowed to do better after an issue with their “devil’s claw” supplement that actually included a less desirable form of the plant than named. The company now employs DNA barcoding as a product quality measure.
Reviews are pretty positive for this particular supplement: people are using it for everything from treating eczema to treating their dogs’ conjunctivitis.
Like with other soft gels, some reviewers really aren’t fans of the soybean oil, which is added to help the body absorb the nutrients better.
Best liquid vitamin A supplements
Key ingredients: vitamin A (palmitate and beta-carotene), glycerin, castor oil
If you prefer to slurp down your vitamins, Great Lakes has the nutrient-rich bottle you’ll want to dip into. These drops are micellized, which basically means that the vitamin A is super concentrated and easily absorbed by the bod.
And we mean super concentrated — a single bottle will give you about a year’s supply of vitamin A for you *and* your boo. A single drop has 167 percent of the DV for vitamin A. It comes in the form of vitamin A palmitate and beta carotene.
Great Lakes Nutrition products are third-party tested, but the company hasn’t disclosed the organization that does the testing.
Reviewers say it tastes just like fresh carrot juice, which is a total pro for some and apparently somewhat of an ugh factor for others. (But srsly, carrot juice is delish.) Some say they’ve noticed everything from better skin and hair to improved immune systems.
Key ingredients: vitamin A (palmitate and beta-carotene), glycerin, castor oil
Klaire Labs is to healthcare providers as Adidas is to sneakerheads: A long-time trusted brand with a solid rep. Even though Klaire Labs’ products can be bought over the counter, they’re designed to be prescribed by providers.
All their products are made in a facility that adheres with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Their micellized, super absorbable vitamin A drops give you 167 percent of the DV for vitamin A per drop. The product’s also free of all major allergens.
That being said, some say it could taste better.
Best gummy vitamin A supplement
Key ingredients: vitamin A (retinyl acetate aka retinol), biotin, vitamin C, b12, zinc, glucose syrup, veggie oil, natural strawberry flavor, purple carrot juice
If you’re the type who protested every time your ‘rents made you take one of those crumbly old vitamins (relatable), this one’s for you. This strawberry-flavored retinol gummy is specifically designed to be a skin-replenishing concoction, also containing biotin, vitamin C, B12, and zinc.
The company claims it can replace your serum — but can it, really? NGL: You might want to hang onto your skin care cabinet. Reviewers say they’re not an anti-aging miracle (and who needs one?!), but some say they give skin a serious glow and improve texture. Bonus: tons of reviews rave about the strawberry taste. 🍓
No gelatin here: Vegan: ✔️ GF: ✔️
Here’s what to consider when choosing the right supplement for you:
- Quality ingredients. Decide whether you’d prefer cod liver oil or carotenoids, and then make sure the vitamin has the pure form of that. Ideally, your vitamin A supplement shouldn’t have a huge list of filler ingredients that you can’t understand. It should have some fat (like in the form of oil), which will help your bod absorb it better.
- Added vitamins. If you only need vitamin A in your life, you might want a standalone supplement. If you’re looking to improve, say, your skin specifically, look for one with added beneficial nutrients like biotin.
- Third-party testing. Check for third-party testing — that way, you know the company has truly checked all their boxes.
- Dietary considerations. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll need a supplement made with carotenoids. If you’re allergic to gluten or other allergens, scope out the ingredient list so you can play it safe.
Who should stay away from vitamin A?
All in all, vitamin A supplements are safe. However, there are some cases where caution is advised.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there’s a link between supplementation of beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A) for 5–8 years and an increased risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease in smokers exposed to asbestos. While there are obvi a lot of other cancer risk factors here, it still may be smart to steer clear if you’re a smoker.
Still on the fence? Here are a few answers to common questions about these supplements.
What’s the best form of vitamin A to take?
That depends on your needs. If you’re a vegan, you’ll need a carotenoid. If you want a natural (not synthetic) source, fish oil is a good idea.
What brand makes the best vitamin A capsules?
We think all the brands on this list are pretty solid. If you’re looking for cod liver oil, Carlson has a long-time trusted reputation. If you’re looking for carotenoids, Klaire Labs is recommended and prescribed by physicians.
Can I take vitamin A every day?
Talk with a health pro before taking a new vitamin every day — including vitamin A. Then, take the vitamin as instructed for the length of time that’s recommended.
Do vitamin A supplements work?
They can definitely get the job done if you have a deficiency. Vitamins often contain much higher than the recommended DV, so your body has better odds of getting what it needs.
But as we mentioned earlier, there are still some questions to be answered about how well supplemented nutrients are absorbed and used in the body. Therefore, it’s best to use them in moderation and with advice from a health pro.
Do I need to take a vitamin A supplement?
TBH, probably not unless you have cystic fibrosis or if you lack access to adequate nutrition. Talk with a health professional to be sure.
If you’re not getting enough vitamin A in your life, it’s most likely due to a lack of nutrients in your diet or another condition. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to take a supplement (as recommended by a health pro) to elevate your levels and fill any gaps.
Even though vitamin A toxicity is super rare, it’s a good idea to talk with a pro before introducing new vitamins to your life. If that’s the route you choose, consider our recs as a starting point.