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Open Access Vitamin A and carotenoid toxicity

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Abstract:

Large differences in time and dose needed to induce hypervitaminosis A have been observed. High doses of vitamin A in food and oily solutions are well tolerated, whereas emulsified preparations have higher toxicity. Chronic hypervitaminosis seems to be induced following daily doses of 300,000 to 600,000 IU of vitamin A (90–180 mg of retinol) in oily preparations for many months or years, whereas teratogenicity may be induced by daily doses as low as 40,000 IU of vitamin A (12 mg of retinol) in oil during the first trimester. For the provitamin A, β-carotene, serious adverse effects have been reported in large-scale prospective randomized trials: four years of supplementation with 20 to 30 mg β-carotene per day was associated with increased risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease among smokers and workers exposed to asbestos. These results strongly suggest that high doses of β-carotene should not be recommended for any group until the safety of such doses can be established.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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