Vitamin A (Retinol) > for food and dietary supplements

Physiological importance of Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in the visual system of the eye and in reproductive processes. All higher forms of life require retinol for reproduction. Vitamin A provides protection for the entire ectoderm and benefits growth and functionality of the skin as well as the mucous membranes. Moreover Vitamin A has a positive effect on the immune system by increasing the formation of antibodies.

Deficiency symptoms

  • increased light sensitivity
  • dry eyes
  • impaired adaptation to the dark
  • night blindness (hemeralopia)

Vitamin A deficiency may also cause

  • reduced resistance to infection
  • reproductive disorders
  • in children, vitamin A deficiency stunts their growth

Brands

Vitamin A

Properties

Vitamin A is available in powder as well as in oily forms as Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin A Propionate (various grades).
Stability: Vitamin A is sensitive to oxygen and other oxidizing agents, particularly with simultaneous exposure to light and heat. Antioxidants, such as alpha-tocoperol and BHT are frequently added for protection against oxidation. Vitamin A is stable towards bases, but very sensitive towards acids. Retinol and its esters are readily soluble in fats, oils and solvents, which dissolve fats at room temperature. However, they are practically insoluble in water.

Applications

The use of Vitamin A in the food industry is subject to controls due to the risk of overdose. Currently, it may only be used in certain product groups. Depending on the country, these product groups include food products for babies and small children, dietetic food products for weight loss, balanced diets, margarine, spreads, milk and dairy products.
In cosmetic products, Vitamin A is used primarily for the care of sensitive dry skin. It is said to promote regeneration of the skin, increase local blood circulation and improve the skin`s tone.
For the application in dietary supplements special grades are available, which have e.g. excellent tableting properties or can be used for multivitamin preparations or in soft gelatin capsules.