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The Truth About Vitamin A Safety in Prenatal Vitamins

The most common question a pregnant woman asks me is "My surgeon says it's very dangerous for me to take vitamin A when I'm pregnant. As a nutrition expert, what do you think?"

No doubt, there is a lot of fear and confusion on this topic. So, let's get down to the truth of the matter. As always, truth can be found in the midst of two opposing views. One point is that pregnant women should avoid taking vitamin A. Another view is that pregnant women need not worry at all about vitamin A intake as the risk is minimal.

So let's explain the issue so you can make the most informed choices for yourself and your baby:

In 1995, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study that showed strong evidence that approximately 1.7% of pregnant women in the U.S. eat Larger out of 10,000 International Units (IUs) of vitamin A (retinol) daily during the first 7 weeks of their pregnancy giving birth to children with birth defects. This is one out of every 57 women. This has triggered a wave of fears in obstetrics and their pregnant patients to this day.

The good news about this study is that it warns doctors to warn their pregnant patients who consume more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A daily for the first 7 weeks of their pregnancy. To my mind, this also needs to be maintained for pregnant women who are actively trying to conceive. Women given very high doses of vitamin A for the treatment of acne should avoid becoming pregnant until their blood levels of vitamin A are in the normal range.

The bad news about the impact of the NEJM vitamin A study is that it makes too many obstetricians and obstetricians too cautious, even paranoid, about taking women everywhereform of vitamin A, and even supplements containing beta-carotene. Of course, no pregnant woman wants to put their baby at risk, so when their fetus tells them to avoid taking all the vitamin A they hear.

The other right side is raising the baby requirements somevitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can cause delays in fetal and infant growth. It is known that plant scientists have tried to perfect the modified rice strain to contain beta-carotene (orange color) for third world countries. Why not? To help prevent many babies born blind every year because their mothers' bodies do not have enough vitamin A to donate enough for their growing eyes!

The World Health Organization estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 children are born blind each year. WHO also estimates that 13.8 million children have several levels of visual loss associated with vitamin A deficiency.

Carotenoids and carotenoids are natural pigments that give their fruits colored fruits and vegetables. Carrots are a good example because their orange color reflects their abundance carrotsenoids and carrotsenes. There are more than 600 carotenoids / carotenes and less than 50 seem to be converted to vitamin A. However, this conversion is important, since human vision depends on this pigment.

The conversion of carotenes to vitamin A depends on several factors including sufficient zinc, vitamin C, protein status, bile salts, pancreatic enzymes and optimal thyroid gland health. Therefore, women with insufficient levels of co-requisite factors have more difficulty converting high-pigmented foods into vitamin A.

An International Unit (IU) of vitamin A (retinol) is not No. IU beta-carotene because only 40% -60% of beta-carotene is absorbed and converted to vitamin A. Also, beta-carotene absorption is limiting. This means that outside of healthy levels, the more you consume the less you absorb. Beta-carotene taken in supplement form absorbs better than beta-carotene from food. Betacarotene is safe and necessary.

On average, vitamin A intake for pregnant women daily is approximately. 4000 IUs. This means if you have been told by your obstetrician to avoid taking it all vitamin A and you receive less than 8000 IU carotenes from your prenatal vitamins and your diet is combined, there is an increased risk that your child may experience some degree of visual loss or growth vulnerability. The risk of pregnant women receiving small amounts of vitamin A is unacceptable because too much vitamin A.

As mentioned before, the truth tends to be found right in the middle of two opposing views. Too much a lot Vitamin A carries the risk of small but significant birth defects. Too much a little Vitamin A carries the risk of visual loss or growth delay.

So what do you do when you're pregnant?

Here are some guidelines:

(1) To be safe, it is best to avoid prenatal vitamins that contain any form of vitamin A retinol.

(2) Try to make sure that your daily intake of vitamin A does not exceed 6000 IU during your first 2 months of pregnancy.

(3) Avoid eating very high levels of vitamin A retinol daily, especially beef liver (43,900 IUs / 3.5 oz) and cow liver (22,500 IUs / 3.5 oz.).

(4) Make sure that your prenatal vitamin contains at least 3500 IU betacarotene.

(5) Try to get 4000-5000 IU carotene and carotenoids from your diet. You can do this by eating a lot colored vegetables like carrots and leafy greens.

(6) Eat bright fruit.

(7) If you can't eat enough colored vegetables, get a good vegetable powder that can give you 4000-5000 IU of this important precursor to vitamin A.

(8) Do your best to take this middle ground and try not to worry.


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