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Do You Need More Vitamin A If You Have Acne

Since the 1960sí, vitamin A gained medical attention for its anti-acne traits. Because of this vitaminís versatility and efficacy at treating acne, there are now over three generations of vitamin A derived medicines used to combat acne. So what is the secret to vitamin Aís pimple-preventing action?

For over four decades, vitamin A has earned medical attention for its anti-acne traits. Because of this vitamin's versatility and efficacy at treating acne, there are now over three generations of vitamin A derived medicines used to combat acne. So what is the secret to vitamin A's zit-fighting action?The varied functions of vitamin AThe nutrient vitamin A serves a key role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division, and cell differentiation. In addition, vitamin A enhances immune strength by helping produce white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses.

Vitamin A and acne controlAccording to an investigation in Cutis, vitamin A can control or modify the steps involved in creating acne lesions. One of those steps involves improper shedding of skin cells. Vitamin A can improve how the pores remove dead skin cells and this lowers the chances of developing clogged pores that provoke surplus growth of the acne activating bacteria Propionibactium acnes.

Moreover, a report in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society have found that a vitamin A deficiency can induce inflammation and escalate existing inflammatory states.

Clinical research supported this finding. For example, report in Clinical & Experimental Dermatology detected a direct link between blood levels of vitamin A and acne. In this investigation, researchers compared the blood levels of vitamins A in 100 newly diagnosed, yet untreated acne patients to 100 age-matched, healthy volunteers without acne. Overall, the healthy, acne free group had higher amounts of vitamin A in their circulatory system than the acne sufferer group.

Based on these findings, investigators concluded that low vitamin A blood levels could cause or worsen an acne outbreak. Years earlier, an investigation in the British Journal of Dermatology found that low vitamin A blood levels corresponded to heightened levels of severe, cystic acne in male volunteers.

How much Vitamin A to takeThe daily value for vitamin A for an adults is 5,000 IU (international units). The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A is 900 miligrams per day or 3,000 IU per day. The tolerable upper level of vitamin A for adults is 10,000 IU per day. Excess dosages of vitamin A can cause liver toxicity, birth defects and/or nausea.

Where to get vitamin AVitamin A found in animal-based foods is called "preformed" vitamin A. Animal-based vitamin A is absorbed in the form of retinol. The body can then convert this retinol into other active forms of vitamin A like retinal and retinoic acid.

Food sources of vitamin A include beef liver, chicken liver, fortified milk, cheese and eggs. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best source of needed nutrients is a balanced diet. However, for individuals whose health conditions, lifestyle choices or medications hamper their bodies' ability to receive or absorb proper amounts of vitamin A from foods, a supplement is in order.

In short, clinical research has definitely recognized vitamin A as an acne preventative. Thus, adequate consumption of vitamin A should be considered a integral part of treating acne.


Ayres, S Jr & R Mihan. Acne vulgaris: Therapy directed at pathophysiologic defects. Cutis; 1981, vol 28, no 1, pp 41-42.

El-akawi, Z; N Abdel-Latif & K Abdul-Razzak. Does the plasma level of vitamins A and E affect acne condition? Clinical & Experimental Dermatology; May 2006, vol 31, no 3, pp 430-434.

Mayo Clinic. Answers to Common Questions About Multivitamins. April 4, 2007.

MichaŽlsson, Gerd; Anders Vahlquist & Lennart Juhlin. Serum zinc and retinol-binding protein in acne. British Journal of Dermatology; March 1977, vol 96, no 3, pp 283Ė286.

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: Vitamin A and carotenoids. April 23, 2006.

Reifen R. Vitamin A as an inflammation controlling agent. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society; August 2002, vol 61Psychology Articles, pp 397-400.

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Naweko Nicole Dial San-Joyz engineered the acne trigger approach to naturally controlling acne in her internationally published book, Acne Messages: Crack the code of your zits and say goodbye to acne. San-Joyz continues to serve persons with acne by developing customized acne scar removal treatments for the face and body at the San Diego based skin research firm Noixia. If you want free, researched tips for naturally removing acne marks, visit

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