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Surprising Side Effects of Taking Vitamin A Supplements, Says Science

This vitamin is a lot more powerful than you think!

You've likely heard someone tell you that eating carrots can help with your eyes, and truth be told, there's nothing false about that statement. Carrots—along with sweet potatoes, orange bell peppers, butternut squash, and even spinach or kale—are all foods that contain beta-carotene, a fat-soluble vitamin that converts into vitamin A when consumed. Having a sufficient amount of vitamin A is not only good for your eye health, but also your skin and can even help with reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases.

But what if you aren't eating enough of these types of foods in your diet? If your doctor has recommended you add vitamin A supplements to your routine, there are a few side effects—both good and bad—that you may experience while taking them. Here's what you need to know according to the latest research, and if you're looking for even more healthy eating tips after, check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.


Your risk of a cancer diagnosis decreases.


Numerous studies actually show how having a sufficient amount of vitamin A can help with reducing your risk of a cancer diagnosis. Specifically, vitamin A can help decrease the risk of lung cancer and skin cancer.

Related: This Exact Diet Lowers Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease, Expert Says


Your skin will be protected.

Young female workout before fitness training session at the park. Healthy young woman warming up outdoors. She is stretching her arms and looking away,hi key.

Don't get us wrong—you still should apply sunscreen if you're going to be outside for a long period of time. However, vitamin A is important for both your upper and lower layers of skin to prevent sun damage because it can help interrupt the process of breaking down collagen. Collagen is a protein in your body that helps to keep your joints healthy and your skin tight and smooth.

Here are The 12 Best Vitamin A Foods For Skin, Hair, and Eye Health.


You may feel nauseous if you have too much.

man in gray shirt holding stomach
Shutterstock / Taras Mikhailyuk

According to the National Institutes of Health, taking too much vitamin A can be harmful to your body and can cause feelings of nausea, as well as dizziness, headaches, and stomach aches.


You'll have better eyesight as you get older.

Hiker young woman, wearing flowered shirt, taking a selfie photograph outdoors

The National Institutes of Health also points out how taking vitamin A supplements (or getting a sufficient amount of vitamin A in your diet) can help with age-related macular degeneration—which causes loss of vision as people age.


It protects you from free radicals.

supplements and vitamins

According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin A has powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are important for protecting your cells from free radicals, which can later cause the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten