Monday, November 26, 2007

Beware of Vitamin A

Most people think that all vitamins are good, and they are in normal recommended amounts. Sometimes health claims recommend high doses of vitamins. The B vitamins and vitamin C, which are easily excreted in the urine, are generally not dangerous even in higher doses. However, vitamins A, D and E are accumulated by the body and high doses can be dangerous. The most dangerous vitamin in high doses is vitamin A. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin A for men and women is 3000 IU for men and 2333 IU for women). Above 10,000 IU is considered dangerous, and may cause liver damage and birth defects in pregnant women.

A new analysis of the large Nurses' Health Study (over 70,000 women followed by Harvard researchers) has shown that women who consume more than 6600 IU of vitamin A had a higher risk of hip fractures after menopause. It appears that high doses of vitamin A contributes to osteoporosis of the bones.

If you take vitamins, especially multiple pills daily, check the labels carefully for the vitamin A intake. To be safe, do not take more than 5000 IU daily.

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