Moderate Vitamin A Intake During Pregnancy: No Increased Risk Of Birth Defects

Results of an National Institutes of Health sponsored study suggest that vitamin A taken in the periconceptional period in moderate doses is NOT teratogenic. Because the vitamin A derivative, isotretinoin, is teratogenic, "...the possibility arises that vitamin A itself, in sufficiently large doses, is also teratogenic. Vitamin A taken in the periconceptional period at doses of between 8,000 and 10,000 International Units (IU) per day -- significantly more than the 2,670 RDA for vitamin A -- did NOT increase the risk of birth defects.

This study provides welcome relief to the one that was published in New England Journal several years ago which showed concerns regarding vitamin A for pregnant women. Doses larger than 10,000 units per day should still be avoided. Perhaps even more importantly one should have natural vitamin A rather than synthetic.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997;176:000-000.

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