Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015, Article ID 140267, 13 pages
Review Article

Vitamin A and Retinoids as Mitochondrial Toxicants

Department of Chemistry, ICET, Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Avenida Fernando Correa da Costa, No. 2367, 78060-900 Cuiabá, MT, Brazil

Received 10 December 2014; Accepted 30 April 2015

Academic Editor: Angel Catalá

Copyright © 2015 Marcos Roberto de Oliveira. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vitamin A and its derivatives, the retinoids, are micronutrient necessary for the human diet in order to maintain several cellular functions from human development to adulthood and also through aging. Furthermore, vitamin A and retinoids are utilized pharmacologically in the treatment of some diseases, as, for instance, dermatological disturbances and some types of cancer. In spite of being an essential micronutrient with clinical application, vitamin A exerts several toxic effects regarding redox environment and mitochondrial function. Moreover, decreased life quality and increased mortality rates among vitamin A supplements users have been reported. However, the exact mechanism by which vitamin A elicits its deleterious effects is not clear yet. In this review, the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the mechanism of vitamin A-induced toxicity is discussed.