Vitamin A deficiency is a major global public health problem. Among the variety of techniques that are available for assessing human vitamin A status, evaluating the provitamin A nutritional values of foodstuffs and estimating human vitamin A requirements, isotope dilution provides the most accurate estimates. Although the relative expense of isotope dilution restricts its applications, it has an important function as the standard of reference for other techniques. Mathematical modelling plays an indispensable role in the interpretation of isotope dilution data. This review summarises recent applications of stable isotope methodology to determine human vitamin A status, estimate human vitamin A requirements, and calculate the bioconversion and bioefficacy of food carotenoids.