Vitamin A Safety

Specific Vitamin A Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of vitamin A include the following:
  • There is growing evidence to suggest that taking high doses of antioxidants like vitamin A might amount to more harm than good. Studies suggest that antioxidants increase the risk of dying from all causes put together.
  • With vitamin A, more is certainly not better. Most people in developed countries get plenty of vitamin A through their diet; supplementation is not considered necessary for the average person. In fact, taking too much can easily lead to toxicity.
  • Liver disease or chronic alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing vitamin A toxicity. In these situations, vitamin A supplementation should generally be avoided, except with the approval and supervision of your healthcare provider.
  • Medical conditions that decrease the absorption of fat can also interfere with the absorption of vitamin A. In these situations, a special form of vitamin A, known as water miscible vitamin A, may be necessary.
  • Paradoxically, people with severe malnutrition are at an increased risk for vitamin A toxicity. In these situations, supplementation must be undertaken with great care under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
  • If you have a zinc deficiency as well as a vitamin A deficiency, taking vitamin A alone will not improve the symptoms of the vitamin A deficiency. An adequate intake of zinc is necessary in order for vitamin A to work.
  • Vitamin A can interact with some medications (see Vitamin A Drug Interactions).
  • Normal intakes of vitamin A are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Higher doses are not safe (see Vitamin A and Pregnancy and Vitamin A and Breastfeeding).
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Vitamin A Information

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