Questions For Fredthebelgian About Vit A

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hey there fred.

so about 2 weeks ago i started 30,000 IU of of vit A from cod liver oil along with 1200 IU of D.

now, there seems to be some discrepancies about international unit conversion to MG. what exactly was your dose of vit A for the results you found? did you start with 50,000 MG or IU? and are you now on 25,000 IU or MG? how have you converted if needed?

now, i've already nocited some effects. My lips require a bit more chapstick than usual and start to feel a bit unusually dry if i dont use it, whereas i used to be able to go without without an issue, though i preferred it.

I woke up about 4 days ago with ZERO oil on my face. Normally i wake up looking like I just got out of the shower and i was like, oh man this is a miracle. well, it didnt last. I was still producing oil throughout the day. Today, I didnt need to blot at all after showering, though i was still "dewy" just not to an excessive point. Did you experience a kind of back and forth action in your complexion for a while or did you just wake up one day and saw the results you've maintained for all this time?

I know you said 3 months was what it took to see results, but in the time before that did you notice any changes? side effects other than sebum reduction? Thanks so much and hopefully you see this and have the time to answer.

edit: found the issues with IU to MG conversion myself. looks like 30,000mg of vit A would probably kill me

Edited by stilltrying1
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Try to take the least amount possible while still maintaining your results. Lower the dosage and see what you can get away with.

People tend to tell me that I have dry skin from time to time, they don't even realise what a compliment this is for me :).

Of course, I recommend that you get yourself checked by a doctor every now and then.


Supplements For Acne & Oily Skin: Fish oil, Zinc (30 mg), Vitamin A (25000 IU), Vitamin B5 (500 mg) 25000 IU of Vitamin D (twice a month)
Status: 99% clear (Occasional whitehead)


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well i hope 30,000 IU does the job. so far its only been a couple days of significant changes with every other day since starting being the same. it is way too early to tell. did you experience a phase of seeming lessening of oil production over a course of time or was it a big shift one day?

also, i get blood work / liver analysis done bi-monthly already for medications for other reasons

Edited by stilltrying1
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I saw it was decreasing then it stayed pretty much steady so I take my 25000 IU and don't worry about it.

I will try to take only 10000 IU in a few months and see if it's still effective.


Supplements For Acne & Oily Skin: Fish oil, Zinc (30 mg), Vitamin A (25000 IU), Vitamin B5 (500 mg) 25000 IU of Vitamin D (twice a month)
Status: 99% clear (Occasional whitehead)


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still no consistent change, but it has yet to be a month. at most 3 weeks right now. i didnt keep an exact start date but it's too soon to tell judging by fred's experience of it taking a few months.

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I saw it was decreasing then it stayed pretty much steady so I take my 25000 IU and don't worry about it.

I will try to take only 10000 IU in a few months and see if it's still effective.

If you do try the 10,000 IU dose, please report back with your results because I'd love to know if it works. It's funny, I've seen lots of your posts around here but somehow missed your thread about vitamin A curing your oily skin, and it just convinced me to try vitamin A for myself.

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I saw it was decreasing then it stayed pretty much steady so I take my 25000 IU and don't worry about it.

I will try to take only 10000 IU in a few months and see if it's still effective.

If you do try the 10,000 IU dose, please report back with your results because I'd love to know if it works. It's funny, I've seen lots of your posts around here but somehow missed your thread about vitamin A curing your oily skin, and it just convinced me to try vitamin A for myself.

Haha mate we must have the same brain.

I've probably read every post about oily skin on the internet, including all of fredthebelgian's posts, yet I somehow miss out on the one that could be a relatively safe and cheap solution.

Anyway, the other day I was reading about this fella who supposedly cured his oily skin and blackheads by drinking a pint of fresh vegetable juice each morning, on an empty stomach. Of course, I was a little skeptical about this and wondered how vegetable juice could cure oily skin. Then it dawned on me, his main ingredients were sweet potato, bell pepper and spinach. All of these vegetables have a massive amount of vitamin A in them ( http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/ ). Maybe that's what caused his oily skin to disappear?

I haven't got a clue if there's a difference between vitamin A found in foods and vitamin A supplements. Obviously, and quite probably, I might be completely wrong but I did find it noticeable.

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i've taken 40,000IU the last two days. unless i see negative results or have some issues on my regular blood tests, which i will have one in a month, i will continue with this until results or too long a period lasts where i see no results. my long term plan is to not exceed 40,00IU for at least 3 months and then see where i'm at. if i am not having the results i desire, i will try 50,000IU for 3 months. long term planning here...yeeeahhh....

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For anyone who is interested in vitamin A megadosing but is worried about toxicity, I found an interesting study that should help allay your fears. The study performed a meta-analysis of around 250 scientific papers related to retinol, and there are basically 3 important takeaways:

1. Naturally occurring oil-based vitamin A is roughly 10 times less toxic than synthetic vitamin A.

2. The upper limit of oil-based vitamin A for an individual is about 6666IU/kg/day. In my case, for example, this comes out to just over 453,000 IU.

3. Vitamin D dramatically reduces the toxic effects of vitamin A, and consequently raises the safe upper limit of vitamin A that you can take. The study unfortunately doesn't specify how much vitamin D is needed.

Personally I've chosen to go with fermented cod liver oil in liquid form for my source of vitamin A.

Some choice quotes from the study relating to what I paraphrased above:

  • "water-miscible, emulsified, and solid preparations of retinol are ≈10 times as toxic as are oil-based retinol preparations.”
  • “Chronic hypervitaminosis A is induced after daily doses of 2 mg/kg/day of retinol in oil-based preparations for many months or years”
  • "Clinical studies of secondary cancer prevention indicate that daily doses of 90 mg retinol in oil-based preparations in adults (≈1–1.5 mg/kg) are well tolerated for many months or years”
  • “Vitamin D appears to protect against retinol toxicity because the median dose was significantly higher when the vitamins were combined (0.7 mg/kg; P = 0.020; 95% CI: 0.082, 1.56 mg/kg).” [that's 2333 IU per kg more]

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/6/1152

Edited by Jofo
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Excellent post Jofo! That should shut up some of the scaremongers who think you're going to kill yourself if you take vitamin A megadoses.


Supplements For Acne & Oily Skin: Fish oil, Zinc (30 mg), Vitamin A (25000 IU), Vitamin B5 (500 mg) 25000 IU of Vitamin D (twice a month)
Status: 99% clear (Occasional whitehead)


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Excellent post Jofo! That should shut up some of the scaremongers who think you're going to kill yourself if you take vitamin A megadoses.

Thanks! Yeah that study definitely helped put my own mind at ease.

And I should point out that some fish/cod liver oils have the natural vitamins removed and then have synthetic vitamins added back in, which means they could still become toxic at relatively small doses. So to anyone considering a vitamin A megadose, don't assume that a particular supplement has naturally occurring vitamin A just because it's from a fish oil. I believe the Carlson brand, for example, sells cod liver oil that contains synthetic vitamin A. I'm using the Green Pastures brand because they specifically state on their website that the oil contains natural vitamins.

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Excellent post Jofo! That should shut up some of the scaremongers who think you're going to kill yourself if you take vitamin A megadoses.

Thanks! Yeah that study definitely helped put my own mind at ease.

And I should point out that some fish/cod liver oils have the natural vitamins removed and then have synthetic vitamins added back in, which means they could still become toxic at relatively small doses. So to anyone considering a vitamin A megadose, don't assume that a particular supplement has naturally occurring vitamin A just because it's from a fish oil. I believe the Carlson brand, for example, sells cod liver oil that contains synthetic vitamin A. I'm using the Green Pastures brand because they specifically state on their website that the oil contains natural vitamins.

Would you happen to know approximately how much Vitamin A is in each Green Pastures supplement that you've started using? I can't seem the find any actual amount in units on their site :/

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Would you happen to know approximately how much Vitamin A is in each Green Pastures supplement that you've started using? I can't seem the find any actual amount in units on their site :/

Green Pastures stopped listing vitamin content on their labels because it varies from batch to batch, but I did find this snippet from an article on their website:

"The final category is the fully cleaned and deodorized product with natural vitamins added back in. This is the so-called high-vitamin cod liver oil, standardized at 2340 IU vitamin A per gram (11,700 IU per teaspoon) and 234 IU vitamin D (1170 IU per teaspoon). This is the type of cod liver oil I imported into the U.S. and sold under the Blue Ice label"

http://www.greenpasture.org/fermented-cod-liver-oil-butter-oil-vitamin-d-vitamin-a/update-on-cod-liver-oil-manufacturing-returning-to-traditional-production-techniques-for-the-quintessential-sacred-food/

My guess is that the amount is probably less precise than that, so I emailed the company and asked if they could provide a general range of vitamin A content. If I hear back from them I'll give an update.

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For anyone who is interested in vitamin A megadosing but is worried about toxicity, I found an interesting study that should help allay your fears. The study performed a meta-analysis of around 250 scientific papers related to retinol, and there are basically 3 important takeaways:

1. Naturally occurring oil-based vitamin A is roughly 10 times less toxic than synthetic vitamin A.

2. The upper limit of oil-based vitamin A for an individual is about 6666IU/kg/day. In my case, for example, this comes out to just over 453,000 IU.

3. Vitamin D dramatically reduces the toxic effects of vitamin A, and consequently raises the safe upper limit of vitamin A that you can take. The study unfortunately doesn't specify how much vitamin D is needed.

Personally I've chosen to go with fermented cod liver oil in liquid form for my source of vitamin A.

Some choice quotes from the study relating to what I paraphrased above:

  • "water-miscible, emulsified, and solid preparations of retinol are ≈10 times as toxic as are oil-based retinol preparations.”
  • "We have pointed out that concerns about vitamin A toxicity are exaggerated. While some forms of synthetic vitamin A found in supplements can be toxic at only moderately high doses, fat-soluble vitamin A naturally found in foods like cod liver oil, liver, and butterfat is safe at up to ten times the doses of water-soluble, solidified, and emulsified vitamin A found in some supplements that produce toxicity.”
  • “Chronic hypervitaminosis A is induced after daily doses of 2 mg/kg/day of retinol in oil-based preparations for many months or years”
  • "Clinical studies of secondary cancer prevention indicate that daily doses of 90 mg retinol in oil-based preparations in adults (≈1–1.5 mg/kg) are well tolerated for many months or years”
  • “Vitamin D appears to protect against retinol toxicity because the median dose was significantly higher when the vitamins were combined (0.7 mg/kg; P = 0.020; 95% CI: 0.082, 1.56 mg/kg).” [that's 2333 IU per kg more]

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/6/1152

Jofo, do you plan to try taking vitamin A? If so, please let us know how it goes! I was concerned about toxicity, but now it sounds a lot less harmful than I thought.

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blotted once after moisturizing this morning, i normally do because moisturizes seem to sit on the surface. then once about 6 hours later. that's all i felt i needed which is light for me. i'm usually only comfortable if i can blot every couple of hours. dont know if it is just coincidence or another "good" day provided by high dose of A.

if anyone has the time to compile a list of A suppliers that do not use synthetic vitamins that would be great. not sure of the brand i am using right now its not in front of me but for every 10,000iu of A there is 400iu of D so the D goes up with the uppage of A. nice thing indeed.

Edited by stilltrying1
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Would you happen to know approximately how much Vitamin A is in each Green Pastures supplement that you've started using? I can't seem the find any actual amount in units on their site :/

Green Pastures stopped listing vitamin content on their labels because it varies from batch to batch, but I did find this snippet from an article on their website:

"The final category is the fully cleaned and deodorized product with natural vitamins added back in. This is the so-called high-vitamin cod liver oil, standardized at 2340 IU vitamin A per gram (11,700 IU per teaspoon) and 234 IU vitamin D (1170 IU per teaspoon). This is the type of cod liver oil I imported into the U.S. and sold under the Blue Ice label"

http://www.greenpasture.org/fermented-cod-liver-oil-butter-oil-vitamin-d-vitamin-a/update-on-cod-liver-oil-manufacturing-returning-to-traditional-production-techniques-for-the-quintessential-sacred-food/

My guess is that the amount is probably less precise than that, so I emailed the company and asked if they could provide a general range of vitamin A content. If I hear back from them I'll give an update.

Thanks so much, really appreciate it :)

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Jofo, do you plan to try taking vitamin A? If so, please let us know how it goes! I was concerned about toxicity, but now it sounds a lot less harmful than I thought.

Yes, I just started taking cod liver oil. There's no way to tell exactly how much vitamin A I'm getting but I'm shooting for at least 20,000 IU. I'll definitely update with my results in the coming months.

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Jofo, do you plan to try taking vitamin A? If so, please let us know how it goes! I was concerned about toxicity, but now it sounds a lot less harmful than I thought.

Yes, I just started taking cod liver oil. There's no way to tell exactly how much vitamin A I'm getting but I'm shooting for at least 20,000 IU. I'll definitely update with my results in the coming months.

Have you had a look at these Vitamin A drops, Jofo? http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-Drops-Pure-Seeking-Health/dp/B00AA1G9C2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1404478193&sr=8-5&keywords=vitamin+a

The 'Most Helpful Customer Review' explains why he/she thinks this is one of the best types of Vitamin A available and it's quite convincing- just wanted to know your opinion on it? :)

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Jofo, do you plan to try taking vitamin A? If so, please let us know how it goes! I was concerned about toxicity, but now it sounds a lot less harmful than I thought.

Yes, I just started taking cod liver oil. There's no way to tell exactly how much vitamin A I'm getting but I'm shooting for at least 20,000 IU. I'll definitely update with my results in the coming months.

Are you concerned at all about vitamin D toxicity? I was deficient in vitamin D and started taking it every day and my levels became too high. I'm nervous the same would happen with the cod liver oil.

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Yes, I just started taking cod liver oil. There's no way to tell exactly how much vitamin A I'm getting but I'm shooting for at least 20,000 IU. I'll definitely update with my results in the coming months.

Have you had a look at these Vitamin A drops, Jofo? http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-Drops-Pure-Seeking-Health/dp/B00AA1G9C2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1404478193&sr=8-5&keywords=vitamin+a

The 'Most Helpful Customer Review' explains why he/she thinks this is one of the best types of Vitamin A available and it's quite convincing- just wanted to know your opinion on it?

To be honest, I only just started looking into vitamin A a few days ago so I'm not an expert by any means. That particular supplement may very well be totally safe in large doses. Personally I'm trying to stick mostly to natural sources for my vitamin A, at least until I can do some more research.

Jofo, do you plan to try taking vitamin A? If so, please let us know how it goes! I was concerned about toxicity, but now it sounds a lot less harmful than I thought.

Yes, I just started taking cod liver oil. There's no way to tell exactly how much vitamin A I'm getting but I'm shooting for at least 20,000 IU. I'll definitely update with my results in the coming months.

Are you concerned at all about vitamin D toxicity? I was deficient in vitamin D and started taking it every day and my levels became too high. I'm nervous the same would happen with the cod liver oil.

No, I'm not concerned. As a general rule, your body handles vitamins from natural food sources much better than it handles synthetic vitamins in supplements, so the toxicity threshold is much higher. Most vitamin D overdoses come from the synthetic supplements.

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On July 2 I started taking 1 tsp. of cod liver oil per day, then one week later I decided to add 20,000 IU of Now Foods Vitamin A (the brand that FredTheBelgian uses) to help speed up the process. I haven't seen any changes yet, but back when I was on isotretinoin it took 3 weeks for the sebum-reducing effect to kick in, so I'm going to be patient with this regimen.

Edited by Jofo
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On July 2 I started taking 1 tsp. of cod liver oil per day, then one week later I decided to add 20,000 IU of Now Foods Vitamin A (the brand that FredTheBelgian uses) to help speed up the process. I haven't seen any changes yet, but back when I was on isotretinoin it took 3 weeks for the sebum-reducing effect to kick in, so I'm going to be patient with this regimen.

Okay cool, thanks for the quick response- keep us posted!

Started taking around 30,000 IU daily of the Vitamin A drops which I previously linked and haven't noticed that much difference yet so yeah maybe patience is just the key here; will post again in this thread if I see any significant improvements otherwise I may switch to the Now Foods and/or Green Pasture brand. Good luck :)

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fred said it took him 3 months to see improvement. i'm still unsure of any improvement at about 4 - 5 weeks. about 2 weeks on 40,00IU

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