Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is not only used for treating vitamin A deficiencies, but is also claimed to be useful for other conditions. Some of these alleged benefits include the treatment of various eye conditions, skin problems, diabetes, and asthma. However, many of these supposed vitamin A benefits have little or no supporting scientific evidence, especially for people without a deficiency.
Vitamin A is clearly beneficial for treating vitamin A deficiency. However, it is also claimed to provide a wide variety of other health benefits (when taken by mouth) and cosmetic benefits (when taken by mouth or applied to the skin). Sometimes, vitamin A is claimed to be beneficial for the following uses:
- Improving vision
- Treating or preventing various eye conditions, such as:
- Enhancing the function of the immune system
- Preventing and treating cancer
- Preventing lung problems in premature infants
- Treating various skin conditions, including but not limited to:
- Treating miscellaneous conditions, such as:
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Yeast infection
- Low sperm count
- Crohn's disease
- Gum disease
- Sinus infection
- Hay fever or other similar allergies
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Kidney stones
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Many of the claimed health benefits of vitamin A have little or no supporting scientific evidence, especially for people without a vitamin A deficiency (see Does Vitamin A Work? for more information).
It is very important to understand that too much vitamin A can be just as dangerous (if not more so) than too little. Most people get plenty of vitamin A from their diet, and supplementation is not usually necessary or beneficial, and might cause more harm than good.