Vitamin A is used in systemic treatments in drugs such as Accutane; it is also used in topical treatments using vitamin A derivatives such as Retin A or vitamin A acid. Why was the discovery of the efficacy of vitamin A dervitives such a breakthrough? Because it is a perfect example of the far-reaching powers of nutritional supplements, when they are properly applied.
My three-tiered approach to health can be used to illustrate this because vitamin A and (many other important supplements) have dietary components, a nutrtional supplement component, and a topical component – and they all work synergisttically when correctly intergrated into a program.
Vitamin A, which is found in many foods, controls the development of epithelial cells, which are a component of skin that lines all the mucosal membranes in the body. Vitamin A is important in the process of keratinization, in which the epidermis migrates and matures into the stratum corneum. And yet is the derivatives of vitamin A that are important in treating acne, and not the natural form of vitamin A.
Why is natural vitamin A not considered therapeutic? The answer lies in the fact that natural vitamin A is responsible for maintaining the normal maturation of the skin. However, to treat abnormal processes such as acne, large doses must be given, which then results in vitamin A toxicity. Vitamin A acid – also known as Retin-A, tretinoin, or retinoic acid – is a derivative form of Retin-A that is active in skin. Water -soluble derivatives of vitamin A, such as Accutane, may therefore be given systemically in very high doses without the toxicity resulting from large doses of natural vitamin A. However, Accutane has significant side effects (please refer to their website for additional information side effects) making it imperative that anyone undergoing a course of Accutane be under a physician’s care.
As an active researcher, I welcome your comments and suggestions.