How Much Vitamin A Is Too Much During Pregnancy

Is vitamin A safe during pregnancy?

Yes. Including vitamin A in your diet while pregnant is both safe and important. However, it’s crucial to watch how much vitamin A (as well as vitamin C and E) you consume because excessive amounts can be harmful to infants [1].

Avoid foods high in vitamin A during pregnancy, such as liver or liver products (such as pt or sausages). The majority of prenatal supplements don’t contain vitamin A because it’s crucial to avoid taking too much of it while you’re pregnant.

Additionally, you should abstain from taking certain vitamin A supplements while pregnant, such as high-dose multivitamins and fish liver oil.

Because certain types, in high amounts really can be dangerous.

Vitamin A gets a bad rap during pregnancy because toxic levels may lead to birth defects. Yes, too much of it, especially from supplements, can be dangerous. But you still need it, your baby still needs it, and there’s a really good chance you’re not getting enough of it.

While too much vitamin A can have a negative health impact, so can having too little. Not getting enough vitamin A can weaken your immune system, causing hyperkeratosis (which you may know as chicken skin), and lead to night blindness.

26% of pregnant women don’t get enough vitamin A from their daily diet, and non-pregnant women aren’t doing any better. In fact, 48% of non-pregnant women aren’t meeting their needs.

Foods High in Vitamin A: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Vitamin A supplements are typically not advised unless a deficiency is suspected.

Deficiency is not common, particularly in the USA and Europe; it is more prevalent in Southeast Asia and Africa.

However, during pregnancy, and especially in the third trimester, the risk for deficiency can increase with increased blood production and fetal development. (WHO)

Since liver contains such a high amount of vitamin A, it is generally advised that pregnant women avoid eating it.

However, liver is still a fantastic source of protein, iron, and other important nutrients.

To lower the risk of contracting a foodborne illness, it is best to limit the amount of liver you eat and to only eat well-cooked liver from reputable sources.

Here is a list of the top 14 foods for vitamin A:

  • Duck liver; 13541 mcg RAE per 4 oz serving (113 grams)
  • Turkey liver; 9106 mcg RAE per 4 oz serving (113 grams)
  • Lamb liver; 8352 mcg RAE per 4 oz serving (113 grams)
  • Beef liver; 5614 mcg RAE per 4 oz serving (113 grams)
  • Liverwurst; 2250 mcg RAE per 8 oz serving (55 grams)
  • Cod liver oil; 1350 mcg RAE per teaspoon
  • Tuna; 1114 mcg RAE per 6 oz serving (170 grams)
  • Eel; 1043 mcg RAE per 100 grams
  • Hot and Cold fortified cereals (wheat flakes, cream of wheat, oatmeal, etc); 300-600 mcg RAE per serving (varies by cereal)
  • Goat cheese; 138 mcg RAE per ounce (28 grams)
  • Butter; 97 mcg RAE per tablespoon
  • Eggs; 80 mcg RAE per egg
  • Clams; 76 mcg RAE per 3 oz serving (85 grams)
  • Milk (varying milk fat percentage); ~75 mcg RAE per 8 oz serving (240 milliliters)
  • One unique fact is that since Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, it must be consumed with fat in order to be properly absorbed.

    This means that consuming fat-free milk or using it in cereal will not provide the same benefits for your vitamin A levels as milk with some fat.

    How Much Vitamin A Is Too Much During Pregnancy

    Dr. Rebecca Schmidt discusses prenatal vitamin use and autism risk

    Leave a Comment