I am often asked, “what is the best vitamin to take to avoid aging?”
That is kind of loaded question. There are many vitamins and supplements — most of which you have read about in these columns — that can help you to look and feel younger.
However, if you are strictly wondering which vitamin can help you to avoid the most obvious sign of age – wrinkled skin, then hands down, the winner is vitamin A.
Many vitamins promote skin health, including vitamin D and E. But doctors and skincare professionals agree that vitamin A, with its super-high antioxidant level, is the most important nutrient for maintaining younger, healthier-looking skin. In particular, vitamin A can reduce the most obvious signs of aging – wrinkles about the face and neck.
In addition, vitamin A also plays an important role in the body as it strengthens the immune system, improves eye health, promotes cell regeneration, protects the skin from solar radiation, prevents blood clotting, stimulates the production of collagen and elastin that tighten the skin. It also improves intestinal care, prevents osteoporosis, and it even strengthens hair and nails!
Vitamin A is found in dairy products, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables, broccoli, spinach, and dark green leafy vegetables, as well as beef liver and other organ meats. The experts agree that a diet rich in these foods, plus a balanced diet and physical activity, can lead to a reduction of the typical signs of old age.
It’s recommended that men get 900 mcg, women 700 mcg, and children and adolescents 300–600 mcg of vitamin A per day. If you are not getting adequate supplies of vitamin A from your diet, it is also available in supplement form.
Some supplements combine retinoids with carotenoids. Others are made up solely of retinoids, such as retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. Some supplements are solely carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. Vitamin A is also a common ingredient in many multivitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamin A is fat-soluble.
Vitamin A is also known as retinol, retinoic acid. Its known positive impact on preventing aging skin is why you will find the ingredient “retinol” or “retinol A” in high-quality skin creams.
When applied topically, retinol has been clinically proven to:
- Stimulate the production of skin cells.
- Treat blemishes and acne.
- Reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin A is added to many cosmetic products, such as moisturizers, sunscreen, vitamin-infused oils, and antiaging creams. It can also be found as a serum and as an oil. Some vitamin A supplements come in the form of capsules that can be broken open and applied directly to the skin.
For severe skin damage, there is a prescription form of retinol. Prescription retinoids are much stronger than over-the-counter versions and may be more effective for certain skin conditions. Product names include Retin-A (tretinoin).