Vitamin A in pregnancy

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Vitamin A

La Vitamin A, or retinol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver and can be taken from foods of animal origin and red, yellow and orange fruit and vegetables.

Vitamin A can be taken in the diet in two different forms:

  1. retinoids, the pre-formed vitamin A that can be used by the body directly
  2. i carotenoids, which are precursors of vitamin A and must be converted to vitamin A before being used as such.

Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A "promotes cell differentiation, reproduction, the growth of the fetus and strengthens the immune system "underlines Dr., Food Technologist and PhD in Experimental and Clinical Nutrition" is also involved in the mechanism of vision. However, excessive consumption must be avoided.

Precursors of vitamin A are carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A by our body. These compounds play aantioxidant action which protects cells from oxidative stress due to the action of free radicals ".

Beta-carotene is important for cell growth and for healthy bones, eyes and skin.

In this article

  • Foods with Vitamin A
  • risks

Foods with vitamin A

Where is Vitamin A found?

Vitamin A is contained:

  • in liver,
  • in eggs,
  • in milk and its derivatives.

Carotenoids are found:

  • in all yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, squash, apricots, tomatoes, melons, yellow peaches, mangoes, sweet potatoes,
  • but also green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin A: the risks

In Europe we do not have serious problems of vitamin A deficiency. Generally, gods are usually observed in industrialized countries mild or moderate vitamin A deficiency, which, although often asymptomatic, can sometimes cause bone growth retardation, increased frequency of infections, infertility, miscarriages.

What can excess in pregnancy cause? An excess of vitamin A can occur because too high doses of a have been taken supplement based on this vitamin. In fact, there are few cases of hypervitaminosis A from dietary excess reported in the scientific literature. At high doses, vitamin A has a teratogenic effect, that is, it produces abnormalities or malformations in the embryo (assumption recommended for women = 600 μg / day and not to exceed 3000 μg / day).

The National Institute of Health does not recommend supplements containing vitamin A.

Is there a risk of vitamin A overdose?

The richest food in vitamin A is the liver. The frequent and habitual consumption of liver in pregnant women or those who expect it is therefore not recommended.

The carotenoids precursors of vitamin A in plants, on the other hand, are metabolized in a different way and do not present a teratogenic risk.

Read also:


Click the link if you want to know more about diet and nutrition in pregnancy.

Consulting of the professor, head of the OU of obstetrics and gynecology at the Luigi Sacco Hospital in our city and Professor of the University of our city, and of the doctor, Food Technologist and PhD in Experimental and Clinical Nutrition .

  • Vitamins
  • mineral salts
  • vitamin a
  • pregnancy feeding
  • pregnancy diet
  • fruit
  • vegetable children
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