Vitamin A Overdose --Symptoms
and Top 10 Natural Remedies
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April 30, 2013
By  Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist






Thinking of increasing your multivitamin intake? Don’t
assume that all vitamins are always good for your health.
Vitamin A is an essential antioxidant that helps protect cells
against damage but it can build up to dangerous levels in
your body. You can even suffer a vitamin A overdose. We
need vitamin A for healthy vision, skin, hair and cell growth
but excessive amounts are toxic. How much is too much
vitamin A? What can you do if you suffer the symptoms of a
vitamin A overdose?

Why Do We Need Vitamin A?

Everyone needs vitamin A for healthy skin and the protection
of the mucus membranes in the body. Vitamin A boosts the
immune system and the nutrient is essential for good vision
and eye health. It is an antioxidant, which means it helps
protect your body from the effects of damaging free radicals.
Harm caused by free radicals contributes to the development
of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Vitamin
A deficiency is rare in the US and other developed countries.
The consequences of vitamin A deficiency include night
blindness and the inability to fight infections.

Sources of Vitamin A

We get vitamin A from many foods, in the form of either
vitamin A or beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is “pre-vitamin A”
- a red-orange pigment that gives rich color to fruits and
vegetables. Our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Liver, butter, cheese, milk and eggs are good sources of
vitamin A. Vegetables and fruit high in vitamin A include
carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, parsley, collard greens,
spinach, broccoli, and cantaloupe.

How Much Vitamin A is Enough?

We must have vitamin A in our diet but it is possible to get
too much. Official recommendations from the Institute of
Medicine for daily dietary intake of vitamin A say infants from
seven to 12 months should get 500 mcg RAE or 1,665 IU;
children aged up to eight years 300-400 mcg RAE or 1,330
IU; males above the age of 14 900 mcg RAE or 3,000 IU;
and females over the age of 14 700 mcg RAE or 2,330 IU.
Pregnant women should get slightly more - 770 mcg RAE or
2,560 IU, and nursing women a lot more - 1,300 mcg RAE or
4,300 IU.

When it comes to toxicity, the safe upper limit is set at 600
mcg RAE or 2,000 IU for infants; up to 900 mcg RAE or
3,000 IU for children; and 3,000 mcg RAE or 10,000 IU for
adults.

Serious vitamin A overdose is rare in the United States and it
is just about impossible to overdose on the vitamin through
diet alone. But that doesn't mean it doesn't occur.

In these days of mega-dosing on vitamins, you need to be
careful.  According to the 2007 Annual Report of the
American Association of Poison Control Center, there were a
total of 637 cases of vitamin A overdose in the United States
in the previous year.

Symptoms and Dangers of Vitamin A Overdose

While rare, vitamin A overdose – also known as
hypervitaminosis A - remains serious. The symptoms of
toxicity can be acute or chronic. Short-term (acute)
overdose includes symptoms of fatigue, headache, dizziness,
nausea, dry skin, loss of appetite and swelling in the brain. If
you suffer from chronic (long-term) vitamin A toxicity you
experience headaches, dry and itching skin and dry lips, and
bone and joint pain.

Vitamin A overdose can lead to
osteoporosis, hip fractures,
eye damage, liver damage and high levels of calcium.

People who consume a lot of alcohol and take high doses of
vitamin A are at risk of liver damage. Vitamin A doesn’t mix
well with drugs for bleeding disorders, or  tetracycline
antibiotics, hepatotoxic agents, and retinoids.

Steer clear of high doses of vitamin A if you have liver
disease or problems with fat absorption. And don’t give high
doses of vitamin A to children as toxicity can increase the
risk of respiratory infection.

We looked at the effects of too much vitamin A to tell you
how to avoid or deal with vitamin A overdose, according to
scientific research.

Top 10 Remedies for Vitamin A Overdose


























1.
Consume Beta-Carotene as a Less Toxic Alternative to
Vitamin A?

Experts believe that getting your vitamin A from beta-
carotene in fruit and vegetables is the safest way to ingest
the nutrient. Why? Bbecause your body only converts as
much vitamin A as it needs – there is no risk of overdose.


However, beta-carotene is not risk-free. Long-term use of
high-dose beta-carotene supplements may increase the risk
of lung cancer and heart disease, according to recent studies.

A 2009 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, of over 70,000 adults above the age of 50, reports that
long-term ingestion of beta-carotene, lutein or retinol
supplements increases lung cancer risk particularly in high-
risk populations  --- smokers.

Too much Vitamin A can also increase your heart attack risk.
A 1997 study from the National Public Health Institute also
suggested that the risk of fatal coronary heart disease in
men who had previously suffered a heart attack increased
when patients received beta-carotene supplements.

The sure-fire way to go if you are concerned about long-
term risks of beta-carotene is to steer clear of supplements
and instead increase your intake of Vitamin A rich foods and
spices suchas liver, carrots, orange and red bell peppers and
paprika.

2.
Pregnant? --Take Beta-Carotene not Vitamin A

If you're pregnant, you should also stick to beta-carotene
from food as high doses of vitamin A have been shown to
increase the risk of birth defects.

A 1990 study from the Center for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition, Washington showed birth defects were associated
with maternal intakes of around 25,000 IU per day and
concluded that beta-carotene is much less toxic than vitamin
A.

And among the babies born to women who took more than
10,000 IU of vitamin A every day in the form of
supplements, about one baby in 57 had a birth defect,
according to a 1995 study by the Boston University School
of Medicine.

3.
Avoid Vitamin A Supplements to Avoid Liver Injury

High doses of vitamin A seem to speed up the process of
liver injury in people with alcoholism, according to experts
including scientists from the Alcohol Research and Treatment
Center, Bronx VA Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of
Medicine (1999).

High levels of vitamin A also cause acute toxic liver injury in
people without alcoholism, according to studies such as the
2007 report from Salem Medical Center, Heidelberg which
told of a case of cholestatic hepatitis induced by chronic
vitamin A supplementation.

4.
How to Counteract Bone Problems Caused by Too Much
Vitamin A

Continue reading  page 1  page 2


Related:
Vitamin A Deficiency-Symptoms and Top 10 Foods That Help
Vitamin D Deficiency -What Are the Signs and Health
Dangers? /What to Eat to Keep your Eyes Healthy / Does
Drinking Coffee Affect Diabetes? / Ideal Breakfast for
Diabetics /

Foods That Lower Cholesterol / Foods That Keep Blood
Sugar Lower / Ideal Diet to Reduce Fibroid Tumors / Pelvic
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After Menopause/Best Breakfast to Fight Arthritis/ Health
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Guided Tour /Top 10 Foods That Fight Anemia / How Much
Is Too Much Salt? /Sugar-The Disease Connection / Are Diet
Sodas Bad for Your Health? / Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics /
Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis /Healing Foods Links /  Foods
That Shrink Your Waist / Foods That Lower Cholesterol/
VLDL-
The Other Cholesterol/ Foods That Reduce Blood
Pressure

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Getting your Vitamin A from foods such as
carrots rather than supplements can help
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