Our expert says:
Firstly, combining Supradyn with a pregnancy vitamin is not advised, whilst a pregnancy vitamin would be a better daily choice during your pregnancy.
Regarding vitamin A:
Adequate vitamin A is essential for a baby to develop normally as it plays a vital role in cell development and differentiation, ensuring that the changes which occur in the cells and tissues during fetal development take place normally. Vitamin A may also be involved in cell to cell communication, and deficiency can lead to birth defects. However, the recommended intake of vitamin A during pregnancy does not increase from pre-pregnancy needs, and women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not take large amounts of vitamin A. Daily intakes above 3000 mcg RAE (retinol activity equivalents) (10 000 IU) increase the risks of birth defects such as malformation of the face, head, heart and nervous system.
In a 1995 study, researchers examined the links between vitamin A from food and supplements in almost 23 000 pregnant women. Women who consumed more than 4500 mcg RAE (15 000 IU) of preformed vitamin A per day from food and supplements were over three times more likely to have a baby with a birth defect than women who consumed 1500 mcg RAE (5000 IU) or less per day. For vitamin A from supplements alone, women who consumed more than 3000 mcg RE (1A0 000 IU) per day had almost five times the risk of birth defects than women who consumed less than 1500 mcg RE (5000 IU) per day. The risk may be greatest during the first seven weeks of pregnancy.
Many manufacturers have reduced the amount of vitamin A in multivitamin supplements or replaced it with beta carotene, which does not pose the same risks. Doses equal to or less than the RDA are not believed to be harmful, but women should not combine supplements with large amounts of pre-formed vitamin A-rich foods such as liver
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