What Is Retinol, Vitamin A1 & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Retinol, Vitamin A1 (src)

Retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin found in the skin.

Retinol is also known as Vitamin A1.

It’s an essential nutrient with several important health benefits.

Retinol is used to treat vitamin A deficiency.

But should not be over-consumed, high doses can be harmful.

Table of Contents

Vitamin A Is Essential

Vitamin A exists in three oxidation states: retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. It's an essential vitamin.

Retinol and retinal are stored in the body. Retinoic acid is not. (source )

Deficiency has been associated with a range of infant clinical disorders.

Human milk supplies adequate amounts of retinol when the mothers nutritional status is good. (source )

We All Need Retinol

Retinol is an important nutrient in the diet, and is needed for many metabolic processes, such as cell proliferation and growth, immune system function, and vision.

Retinol is also required for the synthesis of other vitamin A-dependent molecules such as retinoic acid, a regulator of gene expression that is critical for the growth and development of a wide variety of tissues and organs.

The benefits that retinol can provide are many. You can find them in Retinol: 11 Research-Backed Benefits .

Retinol Supplementation

Retinol supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive functions.

The mechanism of action may involve an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

Retinol supplements are a common practice for people who wish to lose weight or improve their skin.

Many people use retinol to help reduce inflammation in the body, and it has been shown to help fight acne.

There is some evidence that retinol may be useful for improving skin in people with rosacea.

Stay within the limit

If you are taking retinol supplements, remember to don't go over the tolerable upper intake.

The tolerable upper intake levels of a supplement are the highest amount that most people can take safely.

Excess Retinol Can Be Toxic

Retinol toxicity is a public health concern.

Retinol in excess can be toxic. Since retinol can be stored in the body.

Retinol toxicity occurs when the body's reserves of vitamin A are constantly replenished by prolonged high doses of vitamin A, or when excess vitamin A is absorbed from the diet.

Excessive intake of vitamin A can cause serious toxicity such as liver failure, neurological damage, and death.

Severe toxicity from natural sources is common when people eat bear liver. It has been known to produce profound skeletal toxicity and hypercalcemia for many decades. (source )

Foods You Can Find Retinol In

You find Retinol mostly in fats and oil, beef, lamb, veal, and game, poultry, products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Retinol, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Retinol.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.