Most of you will know about Accutane, Isotretinoin, or any of the other names given to the synthetic drug prescribed for severe acne sufferers. However, if you have not researched it or taken it yourself you may not be aware that this drug is simply a synthetic (manufactured), pre-formed vitamin A replacement.
Most of you will also know that synthetic drugs and vitamins more often than not have a negative side-effect on the human body that comes with the benefits. Accutane is no different. Now, yes, Accutane is a proven treatment for acne and I don’t doubt that it works but the fact that a prescription is needed to purchase it and a liability waver must be signed is proof enough that it is dangerous. Prescription acne treatments in general have are similarly unsafe, and medical supervision and advice is always required for these treatments. That is not to say that they will all cause you harm, because they won’t. But if a safer, natural and equally effective alternative is available then isn’t that always the better option?
Vitamin A has been proven to maintain healthy eyes and skin. This is the primary reason for the development of isotretinoin, the active chemical form of vitamin A used in Accutane. However, the natural forms, or more specifically the carotene forms of it (e.g. beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, etc), found in dietary sources are not toxic. In this way, the natural alternative (or some of you might call it the “home remedy”) is far superior.
Organic, natural Vitamin A supplements are available from most chemists and health stores and are easily purchased over the counter. The bonus of this is that you can purchase 100 Vitamin A or beta-carotene capsules in a small bottle for less than $10. However, supplements, while massively safer than Accutane, still have a smaller risk of Vitamin A toxicity if taken in excess. Therefore, for the highest benefit, you should review the dietary sources listed below for an increased intake without danger and compare it to the risk of toxicity based on the suggestions below.
Generally, vitamin A capsules will contain approximately 5000IU (international units). For the majority of sufferers, this will be a sufficient acne treatment and they will notice results almost immediately. At this level of intake there is almost zero risk for the first 12 months of use, which should not even be required. For more severe cases or in cases where other medications are in use (e.g. anti-inflammatory medicines) which can increase the severity of acne, 2-3 of these capsules may be needed each day. Preferably, no more than 10-15 000IU, depending on weight and body mass, should be taken daily as recommended on the label and throughout available research sources. This should not be an issue as 15000 IU should show dramatic results for mild acne sufferers and at least some improvement in even the most severe sufferer.
That said, a study was done recently which indicated that beta-carotene supplements help to prevent cognitive decline (the decrease in mental capabilities).
As mentioned previously though, the dietary forms of vitamin A and beta-carotene have no risk whatsoever! Therefore, I would suggest considering adding a large amount of the below items to your diet, rather than taking Accutane, or even supplements. Now that’s not to say that other vegetables should be disregarded, as they all have benefits to your pH balance, but all of the below sources are also high in beta-carotene / vitamin A content and since it is a dietary source there is no risk of toxicity.
- sweet potatoes
- goji berries
- cantaloupe melon
- turnip greens
- dandelion greens
- beet greens
- mustard greens
- collard greens
- fresh thyme
- romaine lettuce
- ivy gourd
- rose hips
- winter squash