Vitamin A spelled out in orange round capsules

Vitamin A supplements provides no vision benefit to RP patients

Research determines that taking high dose vitamin A supplements does not slow vision loss in people with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

This new finding comes from analysis of data from a clinical trial conducted between 1984 and 1991. The trial originally found that taking vitamin A supplements slowed loss of vision in people with RP. The study also noted that taking vitamin E supplements increased the speed of vision loss.

However, new analysis of the original data has revealed that taking vitamin A had no overall benefit for people with RP. It also found that vitamin E supplements should be avoided by RP patients due to its negative effect on retinal health. Researchers also believe that vitamin A supplements may be harmful for people with Stargardt disease and related cone-rod dystrophies, but patients can eat a normal diet.

People who have been taking vitamin A supplements for many years and feel that they are doing well, can continue under continued supervision of their doctor. They should however have an annual liver function test.  It is strongly advised that people living with RP check ingredients to ensure they don’t contain added vitamin E.

It is important to consult with your physician about changing any treatment or supplement regimen.

Read the full report on the JCI Insight website.