Vitamin A Softgel Capsules: Benefits & Side Effects

What is Retinyl Palmitate or Vitamin A Palmitate?

Vitamin A as Retinyl palmitate is the ester of retinol and palmitic acid. And one of the most potent, essential nutrients and antioxidants. The vitamin A softgel supports cells growth, bones development, reproductive performance and immune system function. Vitamin A not only assists your vision and smooths your skin but also reduces inflammation. Its health benefits are abundant and well-known.

Though vitamin A appears simple by name, it’s more complex than its basic title. The name represents chemical compounds of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal and esters. Perhaps you have heard of the other form of vitamin A, known as a carotenoid. 

Carotenoids and retinoids are forms of vitamin A. Both are present in the foods we eat, and both types have benefits for a healthy body (x).

Vitamin A Retinyl palmitate falls into the retinoid category, which comes as a softgel capsule. Your body can easily absorb this vitamin A, and you’ll find it in most health supplements. Mostly called vitamin A palmitate. You may have heard various aliases such as retinyl palmitate, retinyl ester and retinol.

You’ll find vitamin A palmitate animal-based foods, such as meat and eggs, as well as dairy products. Liver, fish and fortified cereals are also popular sources of vitamin A palmitate.

Vitamin A palmitate comes in many over-the-counter products, including lotions, anti-aging products and acne treatments. Studies show that this supplement may help reduce fine lines, splotches, roughness, wrinkles and acne. The vitamin appears in health products like eye drops and multi-supplements. 

Why Vitamin A Softgel Capsules?

People who find taking tablets challenging do not have similar issues with softgel capsules. Softgel capsules are particularly beneficial to those uncomfortable taking pills because softgels are tasteless and go down smoothly. They quickly dissolve and digest when taken orally, providing better absorption in the digestive system. Softgels are perfect for oils because the airtight seal of the capsule increases the peppermint oil’s shelf life (x). You can also prick the capsule with a sterilized needle, and the supplement becomes a topical oil when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, olive or jojoba. That way, you reduce the chances of irritating the treated area (x).

What is an Antioxidant?

One of the properties that make vitamin A Retinyl palmitate so powerful is its antioxidant capabilities. On a molecular level, antioxidants are agents that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are harmful and uncharged molecules wandering unhinged within the body. The toxic by-products of oxygen metabolism, free radicals, are reactive, destructive and short-lived. 

Free radicals can create severe issues and disrupt your regular body system if unstopped. They trigger “oxidative stress,” an unhealthy situation where free radicals wreak havoc faster than your body can overcome the devastation. Here, antioxidants from vitamin A may help, thus preventing diseases.

So much research supports the benefits of antioxidants as molecules that rescue your body from oxidative stress. These agents donate an electron to dismantle the chaotic chain reactions caused by free radicals. Antioxidant enzymes also generate inside your body, but nutrient-rich fresh fruits and vegetables and green tea contain them as well. Today, it’s best to use health supplements loaded with antioxidants. (x).

Benefits of Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate

Vitamin A for Acne

The antioxidant properties of vitamin A help relieve acne. Oxidative stress can cause agitation in the oil-producing sebaceous glands. If free radicals compromise your body, the sebaceous glands produce imbalanced amounts of oil (sebum), making it easier for acne bacteria to collect and create blemishes (x).

The antioxidant properties of a vitamin A softgel reduce the amount of sebum produced by the glands and assist the body in shedding dead skin cells. On the other hand, eating foods rich in vitamin A can help balance your body’s sebum production. 

Doctors also use topical and oral supplements that use synthetic vitamin A, or retinol, as an active ingredient. Talk with your healthcare provider and see using vitamin A from the softgel capsules may help with your acne. Vitamin A stimulates new skin cells to grow and prevents dead skin cells from clogging the pores.

Since the 1980s, individuals have effectively used synthetic retinoids to attack acne and other skin problems. Such products include the trade names for these products such as Sortret, Accutane and Retin-A. If you desire a natural approach instead of an acne prescription, you may find success using retinyl palmitate or other vitamin A supplements. Use them effectively as an oral supplement or a topical ointment (xx).

Vitamin A Softgel Capsules for Skin Health

Vitamin A can help other skin issues besides acne. A boost of vitamin A can help scaly, dry and rough skin. Foods containing vitamin A may also help conditions like psoriasis or keratosis pilaris (x). 

Your healthcare provider may prescribe synthetic retinoids to treat certain skin conditions, but some natural health practitioners have had success treating the skin with natural sources of vitamin A. 

Some skin conditions treated with vitamin A include cold sores, eczema, wounds, sunburns, burns and ichthyosis (x). Vitamin A retinoids can also treat wrinkles and lines of aging by stimulating new blood vessels and collagen production. As a treatment, retinoids may improve your skin color, diminish age spots and soften rough, scaly patches of skin. In studies, treatments usually take six months to a year (x).

Vitamin A for Eye Health

Several studies report success in treating eye health with vitamin A, synthetically or naturally. Either way, talk to your physician about which treatment is best for you. 

Clinical studies at Harvard Medical School combined treatment of vitamin A palmitate plus natural foods to increase natural vision in individuals diagnosed with several eye diseases (x).

Columbia University researchers used a synthetic form of vitamin A to slow the progression of a genetic eye disease called Stargardt’s disease — a condition typically causes vision loss at a young age. (x). 

The National Eye Institute funds research to explore the link between vitamin A and retinal eye diseases to hopefully provide reports for the future (x).

Vitamin A for Illness

As mentioned earlier, vitamin A helps boost your immune system and helps your post resist infection. Recent studies support taking vitamin A to curtail the effects of COVID-19 (x). Scientists have determined that vitamin A triggers the regeneration of mucosal barriers, which block infection (x).

Areas worldwide with vitamin A deficiency have an increased risk of disease.

For example children with measles, the World Health Organization recommends a high-dose vitamin A supplement for treatment, reducing the risk of severe side effects (x).

Lack of vitamin A may also increase the risk for tuberculosis. Another study confirmed that subjects with the highest intake of vitamin A had the slightest chance of tuberculosis (x).

Vitamin A as Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl palmitate in softgel capsules is a common, synthetic addition to vitamin A supplements. It’s also available as an injection, which you can discuss with your healthcare provider. These softgel capsules may:

  • Treat vitamin A deficiency
  • Add to milk to replace the vitamins lost in processing
  • An ingredient in skincare products
  • Used in dry eye solutions

Retinyl palmitate is a fat-soluble agent stored in the fatty tissues of your body. Thus, you can easily overdose, leading to hypervitaminosis A – too much vitamin A in your body.

Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient in sunscreen. In the early 2000s, headlines targeted its removal from sunscreen because high doses allegedly encouraged cancer growth in lab animals. 

Despite an investigation and much publicity, an independent study infers that there is no evidence that retinyl palmitate in sunscreen causes cancer in humans (x).

Carotenoids, Another Form of Vitamin A

Getting back to the other form of vitamin A besides the retinoids is the carotenoids (x). The carotenoid branch of vitamin A is also called provitamin A. One of the most well-known and essential carotenoids is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the particular orange pigment standard in carrots, sweet potatoes and other plant foods.

Provitamin A is typically present in plant-based foods as opposed to animal products. Most of the provitamin A we get from our diet comes from tomato products, carrots, broccoli, leafy greens, cantaloupe, squash and some vegetable oils (x). In fact, carotenoids are not immediately available to the body. The agent must first go through conversion into retinoids. The other form of vitamin A. Converting a carotenoid into a retinoid has proven difficult for some individuals and can lead to a vitamin A deficiency (x).

Getting Enough of Vitamin A?

Most people who live in developed countries generally get enough vitamin A. In undernourished global regions, however, vitamin A deficiency is common. A lack of vitamin A can result in a dry cornea, corneal ulcers, retinal damage and vision loss. Night blindness is the first sign of a vitamin A deficiency. History tells us that the ancient Egyptians cured the deficiencies by eating the liver. Today, we know that liver is high in natural vitamin A (xx).

Too Much Vitamin A?

Vitamin A Retinyl palmitate is fat-soluble instead of water-soluble. Excess vitamin A doesn’t get washed out through urine but gets stored in your body. As accumulated excess, the supplement can interfere with good health. Studies show that an overdose of vitamin A can suppress bone repair and contribute to osteoporosis

Too much vitamin A can also cause nausea, stomach pain and vomiting. In fact, long-term abnormally high vitamin A levels can cause coarse hair, dry lips, rough skin and severe headaches.

Besides, vitamin A derived from natural, whole foods does not cause toxicity. Abnormal and toxically high body levels of vitamin A are called hypervitaminosis A. Sometimes this occurs because supplemental vitamin A comes from more than one source. 

For example, if you take fish oils in addition to vitamin A capsules, there’s a good chance of exceeding the recommended daily limits. Discuss your vitamin A supplements with a health professional (x).

Vitamin A Dosage

The top dosage of vitamin A set by the National Academy of Sciences is 10,000 IU per day. This limit refers to fat-soluble vitamin A such as vitamin A Retinyl palmitate. This recommendation does not include intake of foods with high beta-carotene levels or other food sources of vitamin A (x). Supplementing too much vitamin A can cause these symptoms:

Vitamin A Side Effects & Cautions

Vitamin A softgel

Taking vitamin A during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is safe if you follow the recommended dosage. Taking higher doses can cause miscarriage and congenital disabilities. Consult a health professional before supplementing with vitamin A Retinyl palmitate if you have:

  • A history of alcohol abuse
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Food absorption issues
  • A previous history of vitamin A toxicity

The Bottom Line

Vitamin A is easy to understand and complex if you decide to take it for health concerns. Vitamin A Retinyl palmitate, or preformed vitamin A, is the supplement’s two forms with two main branches and a variety of nicknames. 

Vitamin A is an essential, important nutrient for a healthy body in all its various forms and titles. Vitamin A Retinyl palmitate softgel capsules serve as a healing balm for acne by encouraging the growth of new skin cells. It also helps maintain good vision and boosts the immune system as an antioxidant, rescuing the body from harmful oxidative stress. 

Vitamin A Retinyl palmitate is present in a wide variety of supplements and contained in many foods. Now that you know more about this vital vitamin, talk with your healthcare provider and, take a look and see if your diet supplement regime provides enough vitamin A. 

Author: James D