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Vitamin A--What Do You Think?

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Hey all. Had some questions for your holistic people. Please hear me out,

before judging my post.

Here's my current scenario: Moderate acne, had it since 14 ish, now 24-years-old. My current regimen has been a gluten-free, dairy free diet for years with out much success. I also rarely eat sugar. Keep the face clean, blah blah ( not like it matters).

About three weeks ago I got curious and started vitamin A 25,000's, fish liver oil I believe. I take only one a day, which it says to on the bottle, so I do not exceed the directions and take crazy amounts a day like some people do, like 150,000 iu's a day, but I realize 25,000 iu's is still higher than normal. I do not advocate anything like that. Anyhoo, it has purged all my blackheads to the surface ( in weird areas). and seemed to be causing an IB...and now I'm pretty clear. My side effects are mild and I actually feel better from the A. I feel this is a safer method to Accutane as the synthetic Accutane is already pre converted, which seems more dangerous than vitamin A your body converts itself.

My side effects thus far are: rare stinging eye sensation ( completely gone away and only lasted two days), and extremely mild dry lips...nothing cracks or bleeds, but feel a gentle dry sensation that I don't eve need lip balm for.

My positive effects: Skin heals faster, pimples can't surface as easily,

I wanted to make this thread to show you what I have experienced with Vitamin A so far ( not necessarily a log) but to show you that vitamin A will have similar but more mild effects. Now for questions as well. Does anybody else have experience with this sort of regimen? If so, how long were you on it and did you experience an initial breakout? I am quite curious to know as finding personal stories on the web regarding natural vitamin A can be quite difficult, so looking for people who have had first hand experience. I am just quite curious about it all and notice threads regarding it are closed down quite frequently.

Please understand that I did not make this post to encourage vitamin A use as I am well aware of the dangers if used improperly, but merely to discuss it or experiences related to it, if possible. Thank you.

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I used 16,000 iu's a day for like two weeks, but I stopped because I didn't see any improvement and I didn't want to hurt myself. After reading around, I think I didn't give it enough of a chance. So I might try it again sometime. How long did it take to improve your skin? Did it reduce your skin's oiliness?

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How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Well I've been on it over three weeks now. I'm not gonna lie...you will get an initial breakout before things improve ( mainly mine was blackheads). From what I've researched it can take several months to take effect. It's mainly only made my lips gently dry' but as for facial oiliness it hasn't dried out my face ( oddly I'm not oily to begin with anyway, just average). Really from what I've seen It's going to take time. I've had some pleasant effects like well...normally I'm a very cold girl but it's "warmed" me up a bit after taking it.

But now things are getting nicer and skin tone's improving. If you do restart it, stop if you get any bad side effects, but I doubt it's as harsh as Accutane as it's not already converted for you and I've really not heard any horror stories. But from logs I've found around the net ( that are rare to find ) it can take many months to clear you up, and most people took 16,000 iu's + (around what you're taking) and most of the hard core people take 150,000 IU's which I'd never recommend unless your doctor can monitor you. or you ask them about it's safety.

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Make sure you are getting enough B-2 in your diet:

B) Take a Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) supplement every

day. As I explained earlier, Vitamin A requires an

adequate supply of Riboflavin to convert it to its active

and non-toxic forms. Ref. 5 So if you take Vitamin A, you

must take Riboflavin along with it.

Riboflavin is valuable for more than just making

Vitamin A more effective. Several studies have found it

to be essential for the overall good health of the skin,

and deficiencies soon lead to skin problems. Ref. 6

Riboflavin is the major portion of 2 key co-enzymes in

the oxygen respiration cycle of the mitochondria, and without it all ATP production halts. Ref. 20 In the skin this

results in cell glucose accumulation and food for the growth

of bacteria within the skin pores, which in turn leads to

pimples and acne. Evidence shows that in promoting

adequate cell respiration it may be the single most

important nutrient to prevent cancer from developing.

Ref. 21

People always ask me how much of each I would

suggest, so here is the guideline I provide: I always suggest

Vitamin A to be taken in an amount in IU’s that is 100 times

greater than that of milligrams of Riboflavin.

For example, 50,000 IU of Vitamin A would need to be

balanced by 500 mg. of Riboflavin. This happens to be the

amount I normally suggest for the average case of Acne.

Those who have really severe cases of Acne I suggest twice

that amount each day. Using this combination, along with

a sugar and flour free diet, I have seen it work wonders on

even the most severe cases. It may take a while to clear the

excess glucose from the system, but once that is done, and

the food for the bacteria is gone from the skin cells, acne

disappears very quickly.

Taken from: http://www.cameandgo.com/ACNE.pdf


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how many post on this site are just like this one? lots of them.

mega vitamin therapy is a failing strategy. even accutane isnt a cure all, people often take it multiple times.

taking high dose vitamin a is toxic, it raises blood calcium levels, which is a bad thing, it also interferes with vitamin d and calcium absorption. high rates of osteoperosis(type of bone loss) is linked to regular consumption of high preformed vitamin a consumption.

so some of your skins qualitys have seemed to improve, what about the rest of your body?

what is much healthier and safer is pro vitamin a carotenoids, alpha and beta carotene and beta cryptoxantion, preformed animal form retinol is toxic in high amounts, i woudl say anything over 2500iu is toxic from my experiance.

get some lettuce liek spinach and iceburg, shave a carrot throw in a sliced tomato and put some oil dressing on it, that will be far better for your entire body then high dose vitamin a supplements. you will bath your body in multpile beneficial plant compounds, rather then just one.


#1.critical nutritional issues- b12(three forms exist), Calcium(yogurt, cheese or calcium phosphate supps) and vitamin d(sun or supps not to exceed 1000 iu). heme iron-most absorbable from meat only, clams are high. these are the most difficult vitamins to get and absorb. All others or about the same in difficulty in absorption. MAgnesium in our food supply is generally low as well, try natural calm supps.

#2 Fats- monounsaturated should dominate(olives), followed by polyunsaturated plant sources(nuts) but not if you have acne. the health benefits of fish oil and fish are controversial and i dont consume them due to mercury contamination and immune supression avoid processed fats if possible.

#3 Protein/amino acids- dairy and eggs best sources for tryptophan and methionine which convert to powerful antioxidants melatonin and glutathione.

#4 Carotenoids- alpha- beta carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein zeaxanthin, astaxanthin. these are vital to human nutrition, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, chili pepper and cayenne pepper are the best sources.

#5 Regularity-BM at least once a day, Moist, large stools, 1 piece ideal, no maldigestion, no floating stools indicative of maldigested fat. HOW- insoluble fiber- wheat and cooked vegetables. soluble fiber-oats/ good bacteria ferment soluble fiber making short chain fatty acids that inhibit pathogens.

#6 Circadian cycles-Light, get up with the sun, and expose your entire body to it. darkness-melatonin is released upon the sensing of absolute darkness. sleep in a pitch black room, try to ensure 10 hours total darkness, wear sunglasses before bed. do not eat too late at night.

#7 Desirable physiological states(positive moods/emotions) do precisely what you like and what feels good to you, but not regardless of consequences, just from a perspective that, you own your life, and can determine precisely what you do with it and need not answer or ask of permission from anyone,achieving maximum autonomy and self government.


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how many post on this site are just like this one? lots of them.

mega vitamin therapy is a failing strategy. even accutane isnt a cure all, people often take it multiple times.

taking high dose vitamin a is toxic, it raises blood calcium levels, which is a bad thing, it also interferes with vitamin d and calcium absorption. high rates of osteoperosis(type of bone loss) is linked to regular consumption of high preformed vitamin a consumption.

so some of your skins qualitys have seemed to improve, what about the rest of your body?

what is much healthier and safer is pro vitamin a carotenoids, alpha and beta carotene and beta cryptoxantion, preformed animal form retinol is toxic in high amounts, i woudl say anything over 2500iu is toxic from my experiance.

get some lettuce liek spinach and iceburg, shave a carrot throw in a sliced tomato and put some oil dressing on it, that will be far better for your entire body then high dose vitamin a supplements. you will bath your body in multpile beneficial plant compounds, rather then just one.

But what about the people who already eat plenty of vegetables and never eat anything unhealthy, and still have horrible skin? What are we supposed to do? 25,000 iu's a day doesn't sound so bad...


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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how many post on this site are just like this one? lots of them.

mega vitamin therapy is a failing strategy. even accutane isnt a cure all, people often take it multiple times.

taking high dose vitamin a is toxic, it raises blood calcium levels, which is a bad thing, it also interferes with vitamin d and calcium absorption. high rates of osteoperosis(type of bone loss) is linked to regular consumption of high preformed vitamin a consumption.

so some of your skins qualitys have seemed to improve, what about the rest of your body?

what is much healthier and safer is pro vitamin a carotenoids, alpha and beta carotene and beta cryptoxantion, preformed animal form retinol is toxic in high amounts, i woudl say anything over 2500iu is toxic from my experiance.

get some lettuce liek spinach and iceburg, shave a carrot throw in a sliced tomato and put some oil dressing on it, that will be far better for your entire body then high dose vitamin a supplements. you will bath your body in multpile beneficial plant compounds, rather then just one.

But what about the people who already eat plenty of vegetables and never eat anything unhealthy, and still have horrible skin? What are we supposed to do? 25,000 iu's a day doesn't sound so bad...

I ran higher levels of 75,000-100,000IU's of it for a couple months. Safe to say that it completely helped my acne, I experienced almost no new comodones and when I did they were tiny and disappeared after a day. As for support during those months I ran 2-3 caps of Now NAC a day, combined with 1-2 500mg doses of vitamin c a day, also after a few weeks I started using a high silymarin extract of milk thistle for any extra worries. I never felt any issues on it but I decided to take a break for 3-4 weeks just to make sure.

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I ran higher levels of 75,000-100,000IU's of it for a couple months. Safe to say that it completely helped my acne, I experienced almost no new comodones and when I did they were tiny and disappeared after a day. As for support during those months I ran 2-3 caps of Now NAC a day, combined with 1-2 500mg doses of vitamin c a day, also after a few weeks I started using a high silymarin extract of milk thistle for any extra worries. I never felt any issues on it but I decided to take a break for 3-4 weeks just to make sure.

Thanks, this makes me feel better about vitamin a. Was your skin oily before taking vitamin a? How long before it started working?


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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I ran higher levels of 75,000-100,000IU's of it for a couple months. Safe to say that it completely helped my acne, I experienced almost no new comodones and when I did they were tiny and disappeared after a day. As for support during those months I ran 2-3 caps of Now NAC a day, combined with 1-2 500mg doses of vitamin c a day, also after a few weeks I started using a high silymarin extract of milk thistle for any extra worries. I never felt any issues on it but I decided to take a break for 3-4 weeks just to make sure.

Thanks, this makes me feel better about vitamin a. Was your skin oily before taking vitamin a? How long before it started working?

My skin was never very oily before, my nose got it a little but the rest of my face was pretty balanced. What I did notice was my scalp got really dry and my lips were consistently chapped, so I used a lot of chap stick and jojoba oil to help with that. As well as making sure I got plenty of sun exposure for Vitamin D, and ate plenty of veggies to get enough Vitamin K2 in as Retinol is supposed to deplete those two over time.

I think it took around a week before I started seeing results, this next time I'll be dropping the dose down until I find the minimum effective dose. I'd say keep us updated on your dosing regimen and any side effects you might see, I know there are a lot of posts like this one but most of them lack the details others need to make it work.

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I notice my lip dryness is beginning to annoy me, but it's not chapped and there's definitely still moisture...but I feel the need to "lick" my lips quite often and I'm out in the humid summer, so it's definitely taking effect. It's not the exact same as Accutane ( Accutane from what I've read is the already converted form of vitamin A so it's forcing that in you ) but with this you'd convert it, and it's a bit more natural than a "synthetic" form. Hell, we don't even know what's in Accutane or how it works really.

Keep aware that vitamin A still stores in the liver, so watch your symptoms and keep an eye on yourselves. If you get tired or have headaches I would stop, but at lower doses ( 16,000 iu's or what I'm taking ) I don't think it'd be as harmful as the mega dosers.

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Ok I decided to start taking vitamin a today at 32,000 iu a day. From how much others have used, this shouldn't be too dangerous for a few weeks. Some guy named Dingo Jellybean or something went over 700,000 a day, so compared to that my dosage is nothing. I will get some vitamin d from the sun, because vitamin d is supposed to protect against vitamin a toxicity, and it obviously protects against vitamin d deficiency that is caused by vitamin a. I don't know what to do outside though. I'll probably just stand in my backyard for 10 minutes with my shirt off lol.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Hey AndersCh1m, did you use vitamin a from retinyl palmitate or fish liver oil? And does it matter which one? I know Mahweeoh used vitamin a from fish liver oil... The one I'm using now actually has both but it's about to run out and I'm thinking of getting a different one.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Hey AndersCh1m, did you use vitamin a from retinyl palmitate or fish liver oil? And does it matter which one? I know Mahweeoh used vitamin a from fish liver oil... The one I'm using now actually has both but it's about to run out and I'm thinking of getting a different one.

Most people use the fish liver oil one from what I've read. Btw, I had to stop my dosage of vitamin A because I found out I have a rare underlying endocrine disorder, so I have to get that addressed and it may be the cause of my acne. I wish you all the best with your vitamin A regimens though and have read a few successful logs that say it takes several months. I don't think at the small levels you are taking it will be as harmful as say, Accutane. The body has to convert it first, unlike Accutane.

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Most people use the fish liver oil one from what I've read. Btw, I had to stop my dosage of vitamin A because I found out I have a rare underlying endocrine disorder, so I have to get that addressed and it may be the cause of my acne. I wish you all the best with your vitamin A regimens though and have read a few successful logs that say it takes several months. I don't think at the small levels you are taking it will be as harmful as say, Accutane. The body has to convert it first, unlike Accutane.

I bought the fish liver oil kind yesterday. How did you find out about your endocrine disorder? Did you go to an endocrinologist? I thought about going to one but it sounds pretty expensive and I don't know if it would be worth it.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Most people use the fish liver oil one from what I've read. Btw, I had to stop my dosage of vitamin A because I found out I have a rare underlying endocrine disorder, so I have to get that addressed and it may be the cause of my acne. I wish you all the best with your vitamin A regimens though and have read a few successful logs that say it takes several months. I don't think at the small levels you are taking it will be as harmful as say, Accutane. The body has to convert it first, unlike Accutane.

I bought the fish liver oil kind yesterday. How did you find out about your endocrine disorder? Did you go to an endocrinologist? I thought about going to one but it sounds pretty expensive and I don't know if it would be worth it.

I found out by researching myself and diagnosing me and my mother, so I'm an exceptional case. So far, I have had parathyroid glands removed due to a high blood calcium level and it was making too much parathyroid hormone. That's "parathyroid," NOT "thyroid." It's actually more common an endocrine disorder than people think. But mine is part of a bigger syndrome called MEN Syndrome, or "multiple endocrine neoplasia." My mother also had parathyroid glands removed.

We believe I have a pituitary tumor also that is causing spikes from my adrenal glands ( my cortisol levels are high ) and that's what's causing the excess androgen's that are causing my acne. Adrenal glands make a lot of sex hormones, and if cortisol doesn't turn off appropriately it can cause acne and hair growth.

If you have insurance, see an endocrinologist and get a work up if you have any other symptoms, or even if you don't. People say acne is hereditary, which may not be far from the truth--I have a hereditary endocrine disorder that can be traced through gene testing. I'm not saying it's the case with you, but if you have the time, look into it. That's probably why some people get acne regardless of diet and some don't. surprised.gif

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Day 7:

No improvement in acne, oil, or blackheads. Great.

My skin looks pretty bad right now, so I'm going to try eating less carbs starting today. I'm expecting my low carb diet to reduce the number of pimples, and it's still vitamin a's job to get rid of the oil.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Day 14:

Still no improvement in acne, blackheads, or oil. Sweet.

This week was kind of weird. I started running out of vitamin a, so I switched to 16,000 iu for a few days, and then my vitamin a arrived and I started taking 40,000 iu a day on day 11. I think the low carb diet was working, but then I started breaking out when I increased the vitamin a to 40,000 iu. So I think low carb helps, and I think the vitamin a pills break me out, whether it's from the vitamin a or the other added ingredients in the pills. It wouldn't surprise me if it was the added ingredients, because most pills affect me negatively in some way. I'll continue taking 40,000 iu of vitamin a for now.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Day 19:

I decided to stop taking vitamin a for now. I know it wasn't that long, but I don't want to push my luck with something dangerous like this, especially if I'm not even getting results. And today for the first time I have a back pain, which is a clear Accutane-like side effect.

I'm going to try taking a lower dose of vitamin a again with vitamin b2, once I get my vitamin b2. I usually get insomnia from b vitamins though, so it may not work out very well.

Hey Maweeoh, AndersCh1m any updates? Are you still not taking vitamin a?


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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I guess I'm the only one left on this thread.

Day 1 of vitamin a with vitamin b2:

I just got my b2 today and it is really yellow. It reminded me that b2 is the one that makes your pee neon yellow, so that should be fun. I don't really know how much of each one I should take. I have to wake up early tomorrow, and I don't know if the b2 will give me insomnia or not, so I'm only going to take half of a capsule of vitamin b2, and 1 softgel of vitamin a. So that's 50mg b2, and 10,000iu vitamin a.

I don't know if it will help, but I'm pouring the b2 out of the capsule and taking it with food, just in case that will help it not give me insomnia.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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Well, that went horribly. I only took half of a b2 pill once, with food, and I couldn't get much sleep that night. I was so tired when I woke up that I fell back to sleep and almost missed my lab class. Also I'm getting some slight joint pain. I wouldn't really call it pain, but it's like I can feel my joints now a little bit, when before I never noticed them. I really don't see this working for me, so I'm not going to try again anytime soon. I'll probably just try doing things that are actually healthy for a few more months, and if that doesn't work, I just might try Accutane.


How I Stay Clear:

  • Accutane 5mg/day
  • Probiotics 25 billion organisms/day
  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser 2x/day

Low Dose Accutane Log


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