Vitamin A Dosage

While there is no standard recommended dose of vitamin A, general dosing guidelines are available based on Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL). These dosing guidelines can be confusing, but if you read the label of your supplement and look for the "% Daily Value" of vitamin A content, all the calculations have been done for you.

An Introduction to Vitamin A Dosages

Vitamin A dosing can be quite confusing, since there are several different forms. This article will address some of the confusing issues concerning the proper dosage of vitamin A and will also discuss reasonable and safe dosing.

Vitamin A Dosing Guidelines

Figuring out the right dose of vitamin A can be extremely confusing, since there are different ways to measure vitamin A content. Although current recommendations use micrograms (mcg or μg), most supplements still use international units (IU). Converting between mcg and IU is not straightforward, since some forms of vitamin A are more active than others. To help compare "apples to apples," a system has been developed using retinol activity equivalents (RAE), although most supplements do not use the system.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin A are as follows:
RDA (in terms of retinol or RAEs)
0 to 6 months*
400 mcg daily
7 to 12 months*
500 mcg daily
1 to 3 years
300 mcg daily
4 to 8 years
400 mcg daily
9 to 13 years
600 mcg daily
14 years and older (women)
700 mcg daily
14 years and older (men)
900 mcg daily
Pregnant women (14 to 18 years old)
750 mcg daily
Pregnant women (19 years and older)
770 mcg daily
Breastfeeding women (14 to 18 years old)
1200 mcg daily
Breastfeeding women (19 years and older)
1300 mcg daily
*RDAs are not established for vitamin A for infants under one year old; instead, an "Adequate Intake" level is provided.
For nutrients that can cause toxicity, a "Tolerable Upper Intake Level" (UL) is given. This is the maximum that can be taken (from all sources, including the diet) without causing significant toxicity. Refer to the following table for UL values for vitamin A:
UL (in terms of retinol or RAEs)
0 to 3 years
600 mcg daily
4 to 8 years
900 mcg daily
9 to 13 years
1700 mcg daily
14 to 18 years
2800 mcg daily
19 years and older
3000 mcg daily
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Vitamin A Information

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