19 Best Vitamin A & 5 Carotenoids Supplements 2020 To Vigor

Understanding Vitamin A  |  Buyer’s Guide  |  Retinoids (Vitamin A) List  |  Carotenoids List  |  Supplement Interactions  |  Careful With Ill-Updated Lists  |

This article is about tackling and providing the most comprehensive insights when it comes to both the best vitamin A supplements and the best Carotenoids supplements in 2020 (vegan and vegetarian recommendations as well).

To make that happen, we will start out by exploring the ideal characteristics that they should possess. We’ll discuss why each of them is important. Finally, we’ll dive right into what I’m very confident are the best currently available supplements for each of the respective categories.

So, whether you’re battling with acne or a deficiency, whether you’re looking to heal your vision or just to make sure you have enough of everything for optimal health and well-being, this article is about helping you find what you seek. And about helping you do it as quickly as possible.

During the research process for this article, I went over every single preformed vitamin A supplement and Carotenoids supplement that I could possibly find that primarily contained either of the ingredients. Also, I dived into many various bestseller lists. Ultimately, dissecting well over 300 various supplements to bring the most comprehensive article on the subject.

Understanding Vitamin A & Its Intricacies – It’s Way More Than Many Think

Well, when it comes to vitamin A, there are a lot of confusing and even misleading information about it. I hope to make it more clear and understandable here.

First, there are two forms of vitamin A – Carotenoids and Retinoids. Both are very different, both can’t really be replaced by the other, both have their own unique benefits, and both are very, very needed and if anything, they complement each other in all of the positive effects [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

retinoids-and-carotenoids-work-synergisticallySo, both of these should be found in a proper vitamin A supplement, right? There is, however, a very different trend on the market.

What I mean is, specialized vitamin A supplements barely ever contain Carotenoids, they are more focused on the actual Retinoids. Whereas for Carotenoids, we have it vice-versa. Where there is proper Carotenoid presence, preformed vitamin A is nowhere to be found.

But be that as it may, while many lists out there put the emphasis only on the preformed vitamin A (Retinols, Retinoids), I don’t think that’s enough. It’s not enough to just explore a one-half aspect of what at its core very core vitamin A (in its widest interpretation) actually is. Even more so because it’s not enough to just satisfy ourselves with either if what our biochemistry naturally seeks is both.

Hence, we will be looking at both. For each a separate list.

However, despite there being a separate list for each, the criteria for them barely differentiates. Meaning, the only real variations lie within the actual beneficial ingredients and their amounts. Other than that, both supplements have to use harmless additives, be of proper manufacturing practices, and must not be overpriced. Additionally, there’s also the aspect of potentially containing additions that are not overbearing. However, that last one is extremely secondary.

The chapter to follow will explain each of these in detail.

The Buyer’s Guide: The Truth About What You Should Actually Look For

The Active Ingredients Must Be Of High Value And They Must Use The Most Effective Forms

Retinoids. Retinoids (also referred to as preformed vitamin A) are what people typically refer to when talking about vitamin A. It’s that form which upon consumption is immediately available to our bodies and does not need conversion to benefit us [R, R, R, R].

different-forms-of-retinoids-preformed-vitamin-aThere are many various forms of retinoids available – Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Propionate, Retinaldehyde, Tretinoin, Adapalene, Isotretinoin, Tazarotene and there are others as well. All of these, however, are not used in supplements [R, R, R, R].

Many are, in fact, used in skincare products. In this regard, the forms that are the most common among vitamin supplements are Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Retinol Acetate, Vitamin A Acetate and Vitamin A from Fish Liver Oil [R, R, R, R].

In reality, though there are only essentially 4 options because Retinyl Palmitate is the same thing as Vitamin A Palmitate or Retinol Palmitate and Retinyl Acetate is the same thing as Vitamin A Acetate or Retinol Acetate. And then, of course, to finish off the total 4 there are the Retinol and Vitamin A from Fish Liver Oil [R, R, R, R, R].

So, which one is the most effective and which one should you choose?

Well, in truth, it doesn’t matter that much.

Although, on paper, Retinol is the most effective one, then comes Vitamin A Acetate, then lastly Vitamin A Palmitate (the natural form that’s also found in Fish Liver Oil), they are all well absorbed. And any differences between their efficacy are offset by their conversion to International Units (abbreviated as IU on supplement labels) [R, R].

This means that, for example, 1000 IU of Vitamin A Acetate is roughly the same as 1000 IU of Vitamin A Palmitate in terms of the benefit to the body and brain.

From these, there is, however, a form that I assume would be the best to prefer. And that is Vitamin A Palmitate.

There are many sources that state that Vitamin A Palmitate is the synthetic form of preformed vitamin A. But nothing can be further from the truth as this form is the same form that can be found in various animal kingdom products, such as milk, cheese, egg yolks and other [R, R, R, R, R].

preformed-vitamin-a-forms-in-supplementsThis form may be produced synthetically and this is probably also where this misconception originated from. But it’s crucial to understand that there is a huge difference between being produced synthetically and being the synthetic form of the vitamin [R, R, R, R, R].

Truth told, all natural forms findable in supplements are made in a way synthetically, meaning they are made in a laboratory. One can’t naturally produce a supplement. There is no such thing as “natural production”. I mean, there’s no such thing as some miraculous tree or bush that grows capsules or tablets.

In fact, even when vitamins or minerals are derived from natural sources, it’s still done in a laboratory and may be regarded as synthetic production. In this sense, if you’re more comfortable with the vitamin being derived from a natural source, you can choose supplements that list Fish Liver Oil as their Vitamin A source.

Ultimately though, Vitamin A from Fish Liver Oil will be that same Vitamin A Palmitate (as noted earlier).

Carotenoids. When we’re talking about the best form of Carotenoids, we’re not talking about one singular substance that may come in many forms (compounds). This is because there isn’t one specific Carotenoid that comes in various shapes, but rather a group of many different ones.

There are upwards of at least 750 various different Carotenoids in existence. However, about 40-50 of those is what’s found in the human diet. The most common ones by names are Beta-Carotene, Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Cryptoxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Lycopene, and also Astaxanthin [R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

Many people see them only as contributors to the overall preformed vitamin A amount you’re getting. But this approach is way too superficial as all of the Carotenoids, although in some ways similar, have different qualities and benefits [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

different-types-of-carotenoidsIn fact, only about 10% of them our bodies are able to convert to preformed retinol (retinoids). The most common ones that are convertible are Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, and Beta-Cryptoxanthin (the conversion rates aren’t fantastic though) [R, R].

Nonetheless, all of them are important when it comes down to your health and general wellness. Therefore, I do feel that when talking about Vitamin A one can’t simply ignore Carotenoids like many do [R, R, R, R].

Oddly enough, as I mentioned earlier they’re barely ever, pretty much never a part of specialized vitamin A supplements. And there are some reasons why this could be.

First of all, it’s because preformed Vitamin A is essential to good health, so it’s really important to provide a straight-up-ready-to-use form of the vitamin to get the most out of it. Carotenoids are wrongfully regarded as solely complementary [R, R, R, R].

And second of all, it’s because some people can have quite some difficulties with converting Carotenoids into preformed vitamin A. But if the conversion is impossible or impaired, all the Carotenoids in the world won’t save you from vitamin A deficiency-related illnesses [R, R, R].

At the same time, Carotenoids can do stuff that preformed vitamin A can’t. So, again, both of them are extremely helpful. And better results will be more likely if they’ll have the opportunity to complement each other.

Preformed Vitamin A At 1000-2000 IU Or More & Carotenoids Ideally At 15k-25k IU

While there are set Daily Values for vitamin A, they’re essentially only misleading.  To that end, there are only, so to say, two standards we’re truly concerned with when it comes to solid vitamin A, as well as Carotenoid supplements: the best practices for nutrient amounts (PDV) and the Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL).

PDVs define the actual nutrient amounts that are needed to be consumed daily with supplements to achieve and retain a state of great health. ULs, on the other hand, are the absolute maximum amounts of nutrients that can be safely consumed daily long-term without any adverse effects [R, R, R, R, R].

So, PDV for vitamin A will be something to strive for when you’re primarily concerned with upholding great general health and well-being. And such will be an amazing addition to any conventional multivitamin that doesn’t inherently offer this form of active vitamin A, be it for men or for women.

Whereas nutrient amounts closer to ULs (completely fine long-term) and even beyond for monthly-ish (few months) use will be the choice when battling a deficiency, healing your skin, and attempting to better your eyesight or assist in other conditions.

The PDVs for preformed vitamin A are 1000-2000 IU, in regards to which on average you’ll get slightly more of in a proper multivitamin supplement, which isn’t bad at all. ULs, however, are set at 10,000 IU or 3000 micrograms.

When we’re talking about a typical vitamin A supplement they’re averaging a dose close to the ULs or above that. Whereas the ones that focus on the more general well-being dose is typically a rarety.

Whereas Carotenoids are a quite different animal altogether.

The best practices for nutrient amounts advise getting anywhere between 15,000 IU and 25,000 IU daily of Mixed Carotenoids. Which is essentially the equivalent of 9-15 milligrams.

However, it’s also fine if we find supplements that are even more generous of Carotenoids. Mainly because when it comes to ULs, they have not been set for them. It is presumed that the UL for Beta-Carotene might be around 20 milligrams a day. As for the rest – they’re not even considered. To that end, I’m not sure if they’re ever something you can have too much of [R, R, R, R, R].

the-most-important-values-when-discussing-preformed-vitamin-a the-most-important-values-when-discussing-carotenoids

Additives, Manufacturing Practices, And Reasonable Price All Matter When Aiming For The Best

The added extra inactive ingredients or additives are something that very few consider when choosing a supplement. However, they profoundly affect the overall quality of any supplement. This is mainly because not all of them are harmless in their essence. And due to this, they can bring about some truly nasty side-effects.

Which is never a mark of a great supplement.

Whereas manufacturing practices refer to how a particular supplement is made. How pure is it? How accurate it is with the stuff written on its label? All of this depends on that quality. Which if is not sufficient can even introduce incidental substances that can bring an unpredictable variety of side-effects.

Which, again, is never a mark of a remarkable supplement.

Lastly, reasonable price matters quite a bit. Even the ingredient-wise most advanced supplement is not really worth it overall if it asks for an insane, unreasonable, excessively high sum. But generally speaking, ideally, a supplement should be a great price for value.

19 Best Vitamin A Supplements in 2020 – Retinoids That Will Make A Difference

The first of the supplements on the list are what I refer to as the only two supplements that matter.

It’s because these are the two most important supplement of the whole list. No. 1 is what you should be getting if general health and well-being is your primary undertaking. In that regard, it will couple great with any conventional multivitamin that doesn’t offer the crucial vitamin A form.

The Best Vitamin A Supplements 2020Whereas No. 2 is the ideal supplement for vegans and vegetarians. Even more so because it also takes into consideration the aspect that almost all people in either of these groups won’t typically receive any preformed vitamin A from food that their body can immediately use to carry out crucial functions.

Thus, likely making it the only source for quality active vitamin A to their bodies as many people are known to not possess the gene that enables to effectively turn Carotenoids into preformed vitamin A. Which essentially means that with a vegan or vegetarian diet you’re not getting any active vitamin A. Which inevitably will lead to massive deficiency [R, R].

No. 3 and No. 4 are the best options for trying to improve vision and battle acne. Whereas No. 5 is the top choice when it comes to making sure a deficiency, deficiency disease or other serious health condition takes a proper beating. However, I do reckon this may be also a very viable choice to potentially destroy acne. That said, use it with caution; it goes beyond ULs and can backfire if used for too long.

No. 1 | Solgar Cod Liver Oil (Vitamins A & D) (Review) – The Only Supplement That Matters

solgar-cod-liver-oil-reviewAs mentioned earlier, Solgar Cod Liver Oil Vitamins A & D is the only supplement that matters if what you’re after is great health and well-being in general.

It fits the commandments of the best practices for nutrient amounts perfectly This makes it the most viable supplement to couple with any conventional multivitamin (be them for men or for women) that don’t offer any retinoids (preformed vitamin A).

solgar-cod-liver-oil-ingredientsOn top of that, it adds minute amounts of vitamin D as well. Which, quite honestly never hurts. Plus, it comes from Cod Liver Oil (same as the preformed vitamin A here) and thus, it’s present in the natural form. Same of which, by the way, our skin produces when exposed to sunlight [R, R, R].

To put this into numbers, the supplement offers 1250 IU of Retinyl Palmitate and 135 IU (3.4 mg) of Cholecalciferol. The Solgar Cold Liver Oil is said to be Non-GMO, as well as Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Color-Free, Sweetener-Free, and other. Whereas the additives are some of the safest out there (they’re essentially beneficial), and with that, there is not even the slightest concern for side-effects [RRRRRRRR, R, R, R, RR].

On that note, generally speaking, Solgar is a supplement manufacturer that aspires to an ongoing mission of providing consumers with top-quality, innovative, science-based nutritional supplements. All in efforts to support their overall health and well-being. Plus, they are a global company with its own research facilities and many award-winning supplements.

This is the exact supplement I would buy if I ever felt I needed a bit more vitamin A or my multivitamin wouldn’t provide any.

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No. 2 | Solgar Dry Vitamin A 1500 mcg (Review) – The Only One That Matters For Vegetarians & Vegans

solgar-dry-vitamin-a-1500-mcg-reviewSolgar Dry Vitamin A 1500 mcg is the ideal preformed vitamin A supplement for all vegetarians and vegans out there that are into making sure they’re at their best in terms of overall health and well-being.

solgar-dry-vitamin-a-1500-mcg-ingredientsAs the name suggests, the supplement offers 1500 micrograms or 5000 IU of Retinyl Palmitate (vegan suitable). Which is then complemented by some extra vitamin C in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid.

As of itself, the supplement will make up for the complete lack of preformed vitamin A that vegan diets typically struggle with. Similarly, also vegetarians will be in a good spot as this will make you far less dependent on the already scarce options in terms of food.

And the added little bit of extra vitamin C is never bad. It helps with the immune system’s function and a few other things [RR].

Although the supplement introduces 5 different additives, all of its five should be regarded as harmless and completely okay to have [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

This is the exact supplement I would buy if I’d ever turn to vegan or vegetarian diets.

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No. 3 | Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A + Carotenoids 90 (Review) – Your Best Chance At Improving Vision

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A + Carotenoids 90 is a skillful blend of preformed vitamin A and the Carotenoids of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Astaxanthin. The first two of Carotenoids are thought to be most impactful for vision when the third is the most powerful one of them all.

The supplement contains 1500 mcg or 5000 IU of Vitamin A Acetate, 3 mg of FloraGLO Lutein, 500 mcg of each OPTISHARP Zeaxanthin and AstaReal Astaxanthin. So, three patented forms of Carotenoids that are likely to be more beneficially impactful than any non-patented counterparts. Plus, the additives are absolutely clean in this one.

As far as manufacturing goes, Pure Encapsulations truly care for quality and they go after it hard. Ultimately, I feel they are one of the highest quality supplement manufacturers out there.

pure-encapsulations-vitamin-a-plus-carotenoids-90-ingredientsThey collaborate with many third-party laboratories that independently test their raw materials and finished products for purity and potency; they collaborate with many universities for clinical research. On top of that, they are GMP all the way while also exceeding USP standards for supplement manufacturing.

Thus, not only is the supplement about hands-down great ingredients individually but also it’s insanely good in terms of manufacturing and quality it employs. I mean, it made me giggle when I came across it. And I’m not the kind of person that giggles.

This is the exact supplement I would buy if I’d ever feel like a little bit more eyesight power and it was affordably shippable worldwide.

No. 4 | Now Foods Vitamin A 10,000 IU (Review) – Solid Choice For Battling Acne & Other Skin Problems

now-foods-vitamin-a-10-000-iu-reviewNow Foods Vitamin A (10,000 IU) is a pretty straight forward supplement. It offers preformed vitamin A from both Retinyl Palmitate and Cod Liver Oil. And as the name suggests, it provides that in the amounts of 10,000 IU or 3000 mcg.

There are three things in particular that I really like about this supplement.

First, the supplement offers the maximum dose of daily preformed vitamin A that, according to Upper Tolerable Intake Levels, is known to be safe when used long-term.

Second, the supplement uses incredibly solid additives. There are 4 in total: bovine gelatin, glycerin, water, and organic extra virgin oil. Of these, water and glycerin are harmless but the bovine gelatin and organic extra virgin oil are not only harmless, but they’re also beneficial [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

Third, the supplement is Non-GMO, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, and Kosher. Plus, they partner with Underwriters Laboratories that assure the quality of all their products.

Fourth, it’s pretty busted in terms of price for value. A typical (manufacturer’s set) price of $6.99 per 100 capsules that will serve you a hundred days. Which means that it’s a daily investment of $0.07. Which is very good, given all that it is.

This is the exact supplement I would buy if I ever felt I needed a proper dose of vitamin A to battle acne or potentially other skin-related problems.

No. 5 | NOW Foods Vitamin A 25,000 IU (Review) – Best Choice If Battling Deficiency Or Disease

now-foods-vitamin-a-25-000-iu-reviewHere’s another Now Foods supplement of almost the very same mold as the previous one on this list. Only the more potent one.

As the name suggests, NOW Foods Vitamin A 25,000 IU doesn’t exactly deal with the 10,000 IU. It goes way past that and instead, brings to the table the high dose of preformed vitamin A that 25,000 IU or 7500 mcg is.


This supplement is never intended to be used more than a fixed period of time (a couple of months likely) and is only intended to battle deficiency, deficiency symptoms, or serious disease. Additionally, if 10,000 IU doesn’t make the acne go away, this is a potential alternative.

Similar to the previous one, also, this one is Non-GMO, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Corn-Free, Egg-Free, and Kosher. Plus, those same amazing additives and that same remarkably affordable price (manufacturer’s set price at $0.09 a day).

This is the exact supplement I would buy if I ever came to be vitamin A deficient or encountered other problems that could be healed by the vitamin.

No. 6 | Natural Factors Vitamin A
No. 7 | Country Life Dry Vitamin A
No. 8 | NOW Foods Ultra A & D3
No. 9 | Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A
No. 10 | NutraBlast Vitamin A & D3
No. 11 | Solaray Dry Vitamin A
No. 12 | Celebrate Vitamin A
No. 13 |Freeda Kosher Vitamin A Palmitate (10,000 IU)
No. 14 | Puritan’s Pride Vitamin A & D
No. 15 | Source Naturals Active A
No. 16 | Oceanic Nutra Vitamin A
No. 17 | Bariatric Advantage Dry Vitamin A
No. 18 | Carlson Labs Vitamin A (10,000 IU)
No. 19 | Bronson Vitamin A

5 Best Carotenoids Supplements 2020 – Carotenoids That Will Heal & Protect

The Best Carotenoids Supplements 2020

Carotenoid supplements are commonly quite full of various additives.

So much so that it’s hard to find a supplement that offers all of the Carotenoids, as well as 100% of completely harmless additives.

The supplements on this list are, however, the best ones I was able to find across the whole internet.

Thus, if by any chance you’re concerned over a certain additive or additives, an alternative is to just opt for either the No. 2 or No. 3 of the best Carotenoids list below as these come without any additives whatsoever.

This happens rarely but is possible.

No. 1 | Jarrow Formulas CarotenALL (Review) – The Most Abundant Option Out There

jarrow-formulas-carotenall-reviewJarrow Formulas CarotenALL is currently the most abundant supplement in terms of both Carotenoid variety and Carotenoid amounts out there. I mean, I wasn’t able to find anything that would even remotely come close to this one.

The supplement provides a prosperity of Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Lycopene, and Astaxanthin (in amounts about equivalent to 5-6 fruits or vegetables). Additionally, it also offers Gamma Tocopherol, which is a substance of vitamin E family [R, R, R].

So, with this one, we’re potentially looking at every single health benefit associated with these Carotenoids. Everything from protecting to healing to maintaining to improving vision health, as well as promoting skin, immune, heart, and sexual well-being, battling diabetes, obesity, and cancer, fighting free radicals, protecting DNA, and just, in general, very anti-inflammatory in their nature [RR, R, R, R, R, R, RR, R, R, RRRRRRRR].

On top of that, Carotenoids like Lutein and Zeaxanthin can actually boost your visual processing speed by up to 20%. Which can truly augment your everyday awareness in any situation where reaction speed can make all the difference. Be it avoiding collisions with reckless or drunk drivers, repelling a punch on the street, avoiding accidents of any kind, and even improving your gaming. And there are more of such unique in nature [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

Be that as it may, the particular supplement is sadly not 100% ideal; there’s a somewhat small hiccup. Meaning, of all the additives that it uses, there is one that I’m not particularly fond of. Organic Caramel.

jarrow-formulas-carotenall-ingredientsIt seems that it’s a natural flavor that’s created from at least some organic ingredients. Still, this is not automatically a good thing. Especially because the harmlessness of natural flavors is known to be highly dependent on the manufacturing quality. While it can even be beneficial, it’s not guaranteed to be that way; and more often is not that way [R, R, R, R].

So, how well does Jarrow Formulas stand?

As far as I can tell, the quality of their manufacturing seems to likely be solid also now. In the past, I’ve seen them sharing information about third-party testing. However, as of now, I couldn’t find any such reference on their website. Thus, overall, I believe it likely should be fine. Still, I’d much prefer if they were more transparent. But be that as it may, it’s still an incredible supplement [R].

This is the exact one I have picked up in the past and do so whenever I feel the need to get more Carotenoids into my system.

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No. 2 | Natural Factors BetaCareAll (Review) – Third-Party-Tested, Great-Additive, Decent-Carotenoid Composition

natural-factors-betacareall-reviewWhile I wouldn’t say that the active (beneficial) ingredients of Natural Factors BetaCareAll are superior to those you’ll find in No. 3 of this best Carotenoids list, this one has definitely the better additives. Whereas the clear deciding factor in favor of this one is the third-party testing for the quality they do (by ISURA) [R].

So, not only do they organically grow all the raw materials for their supplements themselves, but also they take true care for the quality of the end-products to ensure maximum purity, safety, and potency (and that to prove that they’re not GMO). Which can’t really be said about many supplement manufacturers out there [R, R].

Or in other words, if many manufacturers kind of care, Natural Factors genuinely does.

The supplement itself offers 25,000 IU or 15 mg of Beta-Carotene, 495 mcg of Alpha-Carotene, 8.5 mcg of Gamma-Carotene, 2.5 mg of Lycopene, 2 mg of Lutein and 120 mcg of Zeaxanthin. Meaning, you get six different ones with a profound emphasis on Beta-Carotene. Which is not perfect (as I would prefer more of non-Beta-Carotene Carotenoids). But it is still very solid.

natural-factors-betacareall-ingredientsAs for additives, while there are many, none of them will compromise your health. They’re all, to the very least, harmless; others are beneficial. So, it kind of goes without saying, the supplement overall is a great one. [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, RR, RR, RRRRR].

To that end, I feel obligated to warn against various ravings across the internet that BetaCareAll is a harmful supplement due to how much vitamin A it contains.

For starters, it doesn’t contain any vitamin A as of preformed vitamin A. It contains only Beta-Carotene and that’s a massive difference when it comes to upper tolerable intake levels (again, research-based standards for how much is okay to use long-term). For preformed vitamin A, that’s 10,000 IU, whereas, for Beta-Carotene, it’s said to not be enough research to clearly identify that [R, R, R].

Still, for the latter, it’s likely to be somewhere around 20 mg. But converting 25,000 IU of Beta-Carotene from International Units to milligrams is 15 mg. Which is absolutely safe to do. Even long-term (see more on this in the section on ideal Retinoids and Carotenoids amount).

Thus, this is the exact supplement that I would get if the Jarrow Formulas CarotenAll wouldn’t exist.

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No. 3 | Shaklee CarotoMax (Review) – A Powerful Attempt At Being Solid That’s Almost Ideal

shaklee-carotomax-reviewShaklee CarotoMax is a very powerful Carotenoids supplement that with recent updates has become a very capable rival to No. 1 and No. 2 of this list. As it’s competitors, it offers six different Carotenoids in plentiful amounts. And has updated the quality of its ingredients.

To that end, it offers 1500 mcg of Beta-Carotene, 5 milligrams of Lycopene, 5 mg of Lutein, 200 mcg of Zeaxanthin, 1.5 mg of Alpha-Carotene, and lastly 400 mcg of Astaxanthin. This for the combined amount of 13.6 mg of Carotenoids. Which is truly great.

However, when it came to additives, it used to not be that great. Namely, Soybean Oil was one of its main additives that didn’t quite have Non-GMO associated with it. Which in that case, is a truly hazardous and inflammation-promoting substance. While it can still be harmful even when Non-GMO, I feel it should be far less of a trouble (although I’m not completely sure about that) [RRRRR, RRRRRR].

shaklee-carotomax-ingredientsAnd Shaklee is stepping into making sure all of their ingredients are Non-GMO. Thus, they’re essentially removing most if not all hazardousness of the inactive ingredient [R].

That said, another danger might be the Annatto Color that can be found among the additives (likely present to add a certain color to the softgels). Typically it should be fine, however, problems for some people that are sensitive to it may arise. And those can potentially be devastating ones [R, R, R, R, R].

Generally speaking though, as far as I can tell, Shaklee is a supplement brand that truly cares about their quality: everything from decent contaminant screenings to comprehensive quality tests to constantly seeking proof in science. But more importantly (in this case), they also offer a proper money-back guarantee within the frame of which you can get a full refund even if you send back an empty container [R].

So, although I do not see the supplement as a perfect one, I feel it’s very decent overall.

This is the exact one I would pick whenever I’d feel the need for extra Carotenoids and if both of the previous on this list wouldn’t exist.

No. 4 | Healthy Origins Organic Spirulina (Review) – A Spirulina-Focused Carotenoids Adding Supplement

healthy-origins-organic-spirulina-reviewWith Healthy Origins Organic Spirulina, it’s quite unusual for a supplement. It’s a supplement that combines a number of beneficial substances but does so without any additions in terms of additives.

The supplement offers 1.5 grams of Spirulina, 240 milligrams of Phycocyanin, 7785 micrograms of Carotenoids (Beta-Carotene plus Total Carotenoids), 15 milligrams of each Chlorophyll and Gamma Linolenic Acid, as well as some very little amounts of vitamin B12.

healthy-origins-organic-spirulina-ingredientsIn terms of general benefits, pretty impressive, given how ridiculously of a positive substance Spirulina is. Plus, the added Phycocyamin, Chlorophyll, and Gamma Linolenic Acid, which will also be nothing but beneficial [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

However, saying that this supplement is extremely far from all three previous supplements in terms of Carotenoids would be a massive understatement. The reality, however, is that, as I mentioned earlier, Carotenoid supplements are typically very plagued by potentially harmful additives.

And thus, mostly it’s either horrible additives or, in this case, supplements without any (additives) that does not contain that much of the Retinoids brothers. There just aren’t enough great Carotenoids supplements out there at the moment.

At the end of the day, the supplement itself is pretty great. Plus, it’s USDA Organic certified, as well as it’s without sugar, wheat, soy, yeast, gluten, egg, fish, peanut, dairy, binders, preservatives, flavors, and colors. Namely, no additives or allergens while providing insane value.

This is the exact thing I would pick if I was after a Carotenoids supplement and others before it on this list wouldn’t exist or if I was after something beneficial that has zero additives.

No. 5 | California Gold Nutrition Spirulina (Review) – The Significantly Worse Duplicate Of The Previous One

california-gold-nutrition-spirulina-reviewCalifornia Gold Nutrition Spirulina in many ways is the exact duplicate of the supplement we just looked at. But worse. Significantly worse.

This supplement offers 1.5 grams of Spirulina, 90 milligrams of c-Phycocyanin, 15 milligrams of Chlorophyll, and 5165 micro-grams total of Carotenoids (Beta-Carotene plus Total Carotenoids). So, there’s no Gamma Linolenic Acid and Phycocyanin is 2.7 times fewer, moreover, Carotenoids are 1.5 times fewer.

california-gold-nutrition-spirulina-ingredientsOf course, Spirulina and everything combined will be greatly beneficial. However, as you can see not a lot of Carotenoids. Again, the highly positive aspect is that this doesn’t have any additives; so essentially no risk of side effects. Plus, it avoids all major allergens [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].

Additionally, for this one, they also offer No-Questions-Asked 90-day Risk-Free Guarantee. And the supplement is USP Verified & USDA Organic certified. And lastly, it’s definitely a great price for the value. Overall, still a solid choice.

This is the exact supplement I would get if I was after a Carotenoids supplement and none of the previous ones on this list would exist.

Vitamin A Supplement Interactions With Other Supplements – What Is Paramount To Know

In essence any preformed vitamin A supplement can be used together with other supplements. And to gain the best results it should! Because the functions in our body are usually carried out by multiple vitamins at a time. The absolutely same goes for Carotenoid supplements.

When assessing, however, if any supplement discussed on this list is a good fit with other ones, you should evaluate them based on primarily how much preformed vitamin A they offer.

vitamin-a-and-carotenoids-interactions-with-other-supplementsFor long-term use, ideally, the combined amounts of all supplements with preformed vitamin A should not go over the upper tolerable intake levels, commonly referred to as ULs (research-based, safe maximum daily dosages for long-term use).

Whereas for short-term use, there’s typically much more room to work with and that will highly depend from person to person. However, different people may react differently. And I wouldn’t suggest adopting very high doses of the vitamin without a noteworthy medical reason for it as otherwise, that could turn out profoundly detrimental. And ultimately, it may bring more harm than good (best do it only under a controlled setting).

The long term threshold (UL) for preformed vitamin A is, as you probably recall, set at 10,000 IU or 3000 micrograms. So, this is how much the combined amounts of all your supplements should not go over.

Whereas as far as Carotenoids go, they’re compatible with everything. Be sure to not go over 20 mg of combined amounts of Beta-Carotene from all supplements though. Otherwise, you generally should be good as long as you don’t go absolutely berserk with how many capsules of Carotenoids you consume (for example, don’t go with Jarrow Formulas CarotenALL triple recommended dose).

Or in other words, as long as you’re reasonable within that frame, it shouldn’t backfire and should be nothing but beneficial. Also for the long-term.

To assist you, the examples below will illustrate how to do these calculations to be sure you’re under ULs. If I’ve not covered your specific case, you should be able to manage to figure it out by example. If, however, you don’t or you just want to make sure, it’s completely fine to let me know comments, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Example #1 – Proper Multivitamin Plus No. 4 Of Vitamin A Supplementsexample-no-1-for-supplement-interactions

So, let’s say that you’re doing Thorne Research Extra Nutrients as your multivitamin (one among the very best of the best multivitamins).

This supplement in regards to preformed vitamin A offers 750 micrograms of Vitamin A Palmitate which is the equivalent of 1363.5 IU.

So, here’s the question.

Would this supplement be okay to use daily long-term with No. 4 supplement of the best vitamin A supplements list (NOW Foods Vitamin A)?

The short answer is no. But what’s the math here?

NOW Foods Vitamin A contains 10,000 IU of preformed vitamin A. This means that it’s already at the maximum amount you should ever use daily (for long-term).

Thus, those additional 1363.5 IU that the multivitamin offers makes it so that the combined amounts would confidently go over the ULs established for vitamin A.

Hence, such a combination would be okay for short-term use but not so much for the long-term.

Example #2 – Vitamin A Supplement Plus Plant-Based Supplementexample-no-2-for-supplement-interactions

Now, let’s say, you’re taking a plant-based supplement that offers 10,000 IU of vitamin A. And you would like to combine it with the No. 2 of the best vitamin A supplement list (Solgar Dry Vitamin A).

Will it work?

The short answer is yes. Here’s why.

So, Solgar Dry Vitamin A provides 1500 mcg or 5000 IU of preformed vitamin A. Whereas the plant-based supplements are, as the name suggests, based on plants. Meaning, preformed vitamin A is not a plant-based substance, Carotenoids are [R, R, R, R].

Thus, the very reason why the supplement label lists 10,000 IU of vitamin A is likely because of the fact that it actually is Beta-Carotene. Which may or may not be accompanied by other Carotenoids.

And so, 10,000 IU of Beta-Carotene and 5000 IU of preformed vitamin A does not equal 15,000 IU preformed vitamin A.

Rather those are two distinctly different substances that can’t be simply summed when assessing whether or not the combination will exceed ULs. It’s a nuance I’ve seen so many people confuse. So, keep that in mind.

Ultimately, combining the two is a safe thing for the long-term.

Example #3 – Proper Multivitamin Plus No. 1 of Carotenoids Supplementsexample-no-3-for-supplement-interactions

Lastly, let’s say, you’d like to combine a proper multivitamin like the Klaire Labs Multithera 1 Capsule Formula Plus Vitamin K with the very best of Carotenoids supplement (Jarrow Formulas CarotenAll) for long-term use.

Would this be okay?

The short answer is yes. But what’s the math here?

Klaire Labs Multithera offers 750 mcg of Vitamin A Palmitate. Whereas CarotenALL doesn’t provide any preformed vitamin A. Hence, in terms of preformed vitamin A safety for long-term use, it’s great.

But what about Carotenoids?

CarotenALL quite clearly states that it contains 1200 mcg of Beta-Carotene. Whereas in the case of Multithera, within the 1500 mcg, it provides a mix of Beta-Carotene, Alpha-Carotene, and Beta-Cryptoxanthin.

This means that at worst, theoretically (but practically impossible) the combination of the two may provide as much as 2700 mcg or 2.7 mg of Beta-Carotene. Which is nowhere near the unofficial, potential ULs set amount of 20 mg.

Thus, Such combination is completely safe to do (both long-term and short-term).

Let This List & Knowledge Guide You And Be Careful Of Actually Not Updated Lists

Although misconceptions on Vitamin A as a nutrient exists, I hope this article shattered them effectively.

I also hope that you’re now well-equipped to not only choose the most appropriate preformed vitamin A supplement or Carotenoids supplement, but also you feel confident in checking for their compatibility with your current regimen.


Moreover, I hope after reading this, none will be able to lure you into buying some mediocre, second-hand supplement.

To that end, be careful of what you read on the other of best-of lists for both Carotenoids and preformed Vitamin A.

Many of them, although claim to be content of 2020, still, for some reason, contain supplements no longer manufactured in 2020. For example, on those lists, you’ll typically see Thorne Research Vitamin A. Which was rather recently taken off market.

What this actually indicates is that many of the lists are just a regurgitation of the previous year’s content. Meaning, they’ve updated the title of the article (or references to the year in it) from 2019 to 2020 but never actually updated the article itself. So, be wary of these kinds of lists as they usually don’t have readers’ best interest in mind.

Above all, I hope this article on both the best vitamin A supplements and the best Carotenoids supplements for 2020 helped you find the information you were looking for. Which supplements on the list in your opinion was the most badass? Which are the ones you’re dying to try?

This article was originally published on November 3, 2018. The article was republished on February 11, 2020.

18 thoughts on “19 Best Vitamin A & 5 Carotenoids Supplements 2020 To Vigor”

  1. Wow! this is really a very comprehensive and in-depth guide for vitamin A supplements. I heard that eating lever spread once a week can cover the need for vitamin A – not sure it’s true. But for those who don’t eat meat like myself, a vitamin supplement could be necessary.

    And, indeed, vitamin A is very important in our health.

    Thank you very much for this amazing article/guide. Looking forward to more of your valuable articles in the future.

    Best regards,


    • Hey, Che!

      I’m happy you enjoyed it! It means the world to me. And thank you for the kind words. I’m really grateful for those.

      As for that liver, yes, I’ve heard similar things. And if you enjoy liver, by all means. However, if you don’t or if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, a vitamin A supplement is probably a good idea. At least that’s how I see it.


    • Hey, Oksana!

      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I had to take some time off from the website. I hope you’re doing really well.

      I like the fact that they are doing third-party testing. That’s awesome. In every other way, it looks decent as well. The way I see it, there’s definitely no harm in taking it.

      Cheers, and have a Great One!

  2. I am so glad I found your website! Thank you for making a very confusing topic easy to understand. I learned so much reading your blog today. I’m buying the women’s vitamin code multi and #1 Vitamin A right now. I take Bausch & Lomb AREDS 2 for eyes . Sounds like I should switch to your #1 carotenoid. What do you think? Thanks so much!

    • Hey, Dawn!

      First, let me just say that I’m sorry I haven’t managed to get back to you sooner. I had to take some time off from the website. I hope you’re doing really well. And I really appreciate the kind words.

      I looked at the Bausch & Lomb AREDS 2, I didn’t like it.

      Some potentially harmful additives (added ingredients used as a “glue” for the making of the thing) like Titanium Dioxide, Soybean Oil, FD&C Red 40, and FD&C Blue 1 (artificial colors).

      Then, Zinc Oxide for Zinc is a very weak form. Dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate is the synthetic and potentially harmful option (especially if in abundance) for vitamin E. And caviar on top of all is the Cupric Oxide for Copper which as far as I’m aware studies have shown to be completely unabsorbable. Meaning, while it may be something listed on the label, it’s not something our bodies can physically digest for us to get benefit from. Or in other words, it’s a useless form; it will say 2 mg Copper but in reality, it will be more like 0 mg.

      And so, yes. Personally, I’m absolutely certain that a proper multivitamin plus the #1 of Carotenoids can do an infinite times better job. I hope that helps.


  3. Hi Matiss,

    Can I combine CarottenAll plus Solgar Cod Liver Oil with Garden of Life Vitamin Code Men for a long term use?



  4. In my mind, this is definitely a very informative article for anyone who’s after a vitamin A supplement or battling a deficiency and would like to truly know what are the best products to choose. I like how you have pointed out the different forms, reasons, and the benefits for anyone to know the difference. This will make it much easier to choose. The lists are very helpful and I believe the way you’ve done it is an amazing way to do it.

    I have not tried vitamin A as a standalone. I always go for a multivitamin. But I can see where this would be good for optimal health, especially if a multivitamin doesn’t offer any vitamin A or is single-sided providing only retinoids or carotenoids. Just by going through this list, I believe anyone would be able to find one to try. Also, I love the fact that you haven’t left vegetarians and vegans out. So thoughtful.

    My pick would be the Pure Encapsulations retinoids plus carotenoids supplement. I just really like the idea of having them both in a single one. Overall, I like this article a lot and if I should ever need to get a Vitamin A supplement, this would be the best place to be. Thank you.

    • Hey, Delores!

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      Thank you for your truly kind words. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And thank you for letting me know.
      I sincerely appreciate it. Like whole-heartedly appreciate it. It means to me more than you know.

      And I’m very happy this has been very insightful. Also, I absolutely concur. I too really like the Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A + Carotenoids 90.

      Cheers, and have a Wonderful Weekend!
      Carpe minutam/Seize the moment,

  5. You have lots of very good, thorough information here. I’ve actually have been searching lately about ways to improve my vision. I feel like my vision is not as sharp as before. Maybe due to age as well. Vitamin A was one of the suggestions. I’m currently taking multivitamins but I think I would have to consult my doctor just to be safe before pumping up my vitamin A intake. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • Hey, Sheilandc!

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the article. And I appreciate the kind words.

      And yeah, definitely feel free to do that. Always.

      Cheers, and have a Great One!
      Carpe minutam/Seize the moment,

  6. Dear Matiss,

    Thanks for another helpful and informative post and I can tell you that, I have taken some great insights from this post.

    This was very, very detailed and in-depth and took me a while to finish it but it’s really worth the read. I was unaware of the two forms that make up vitamin A; namely, Carotenoids and Retinoids. And I learned a whole lot else as well. The wide range of options you gave us is really helpful. And to be honest, one read is not enough. Thanks again.

    Wishing you much Success!


    • Hey, Paul!

      I’m very happy to hear this was insightful and helpful. And I can absolutely agree on the fact that one read may not be enough. I really tried to go all out to make the aspect of Carotenoid and Retinoid supplementation as easily navigable as possible.

      Other than that, I hearty appreciate all the kind words. They mean a lot.

      Cheers, and have a Wonderful Day!
      Carpe minutam/Seize the moment,

  7. Hi Matiss

    I’m completely blown by your extensive and in-depth review! I love how you’ve broken each section into easily digestible parts and the diagrams are incredibly helpful. It’s very impressive the amount of research and time you’ve spent and I’ve definitely bookmarked this page and your site. There is a ton of info to digest!

    Of all the supplements you’ve mentioned, I’ve only heard of Solgar which I use for my iron intake. I’m really glad they’re mentioned twice on your list as a good company to use. I also take vitamin D3 as a liquid supplement which I understand goes well with vitamin A. Is this because it helps with the absorption rate? I think generally the Solgar Cod Liver Oil would work for me as it adds some more vitamin D3. Then I won’t have to take as much of the other vitamin D.

    I’ll be looking out for the carotenoids to improve my vision in the future – and the fact that there are 750 types is astounding!

    Thanks so much for the detailed and informative read.

    In good health and peace be with you.


    • Hey, Teresa!

      Yeah, they definitely complement each other as most vitamins and minerals do. I’m not sure if either of them improves the absorption of the other though. At least, I’m not aware of it. But both are extremely important for good health.

      Other than that, I sincerely appreciate the kind words. That bookmark means a lot. :)

      Cheers, and have a Great One!
      Carpe minutam/Seize the moment,

  8. Hello Matiss – Thank you for this most indepth and thourough guide to the best Vitamin A Supplements. What I loved about this page is that is didn’t just include a listing of the best vitamin A supplements, it provided very useful and important information around Vitamin A, its uses and benefits and also interactions with other types. This is greatly beneficial when searching for such a product like this. 

    I didn’t even know there were two forms of Vitamin A! This was definitely an educational post for me too. What is your opinion on seaweed products which claim to be a superfood containing all the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis (thus no need for taking a multi-vitamin)? 

    Looking forward to your reply and thanks so much again for this great info! Truly amazing. :)

    • Hey, LT Turner Jr!

      I’m glad the article was really useful, insightful, educational for you. I’m very happy to hear that.
      And I sincerely appreciate the kind words; they mean a lot.

      As for that question on superfoods, I think generally they’re a great option for people that for some reason (whatever the reason) disowns consuming a multivitamin as those truly will help with the nutrients. However, from a purely objective standpoint, I don’t think that’s effectively possible.

      Here’s what I mean.

      While do they offer many different nutrients, I’ve not seen one superfood that offers every single one of them. Thus, you’re definitely still missing out on a few when compared to conventional multivitamins. However, given that I feel unconventional ones are the real thing based on all that I’ve researched in this space (which I’m well-aware may be biased), I’d say it’s impossible. You’ll never get the same amount of value out of them as you would from a proper multivitamin supplement.

      Hence, I feel these seaweed products can further compliment the multivitamin but never replace it.

      Cheers, and have a Great One!
      Carpe minutam/Seize the moment,


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