Our expert says:
Here is some information on Vitamin A and pregnancy ' Research has shown that there can be a problem with high doses of retinol (the animal form of vitamin A) during pregnancy. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that pregnant women who take high doses of retinol on a daily basis increase their risk of having a handicapped baby. The danger threshold appeared to be daily doses in excess of 10,000iu, which give you a 1 in 57 chance of having a baby with birth defects. Interestingly, also the study also supported the fact that beta-carotene (the plant form of vitamin A) is a safer alternative to vitamin A. Apparently the retinoids (in the animal version) and not the carotenoids (in vegetable version) are the cause of birth defects. Even at high doses beta-carotene does not raise vitamin A levels in the body sufficiently to cause defects in an unborn baby'.
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