T Nation

Vitamin A / Beta Carotene

Evening peeps!!

I regularly supplement with 25000iu natural vitamin a but recently I’ve been looking to ditch the vitamin a in favour of beta carotene - beta carotene converts to vitamin a, has no toxicity levels and also contains antioxidant activity which vitamin a does not so it would apprear on paper that beta carotene is the better product, if this is the case why would anyone need to supplement with vitamin a when beta carotene gives you so much more benefits?

First, why are you supplementing with Vitamin A? It’s easy as hell to get way past the RDA with food, and toxicity levels of vitamin A are not super-high like they are with the B’s, C, D, and E.

Secondly, beta-carotene, when in excess, acts as a pro-oxidant, in the same manner as vitamin C and Iron.

And ‘No toxicity levels’ doesn’t mean no side effects, it just means it won’t kill you swiftly enough to establish causation.

Impaired digestive capabilities through an inflammed bowel condition! In effect, my intestines are fcuked through inflammation/scarring so I can’t be sure how much of what I’m digesting/absorbing. The vitamin a is taken every other day but your point is well taken!
Thanks for your input!

There is no evidence, that I know of anyway, of beta-carotene being a pro-oxidant in vivo.

That is not to say that there is a positive value in consuming so much that one’s skin turns orange – except for acquiring additional built-in SPF – but as personal opinion, fears of pro-oxidant effect are unsubstantiated.

As for supplementing with “25,000 IU” Vitamin A: I hope this is a typo. That much is far too much and is strongly inadvisable.

There is no reason to supplement with any Vitamin A whatsoever if having reasonable beta carotene intake.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
There is no evidence, that I know of anyway, of beta-carotene being a pro-oxidant in vivo.
[/quote]

Thank you for the correction, from my recollection now, the study was in vitro, so I believe you are correct.