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Will fetus be harmed by high doses of vitamin A?

Mar 2014
User rating for this question
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Answered by
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 1390 Questions
Hi there! I have a concern and I can't seem to find an answer. I started taking Vitafusion prenatal gummies before I got pregnant, I was also on the XXXXXXX XXXXXXX diet for the past year because I just got married a few months ago. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX has a Anytime Bar which is supposed to take the place of a multi vitamin. I was taking both for four weeks and did not know I was pregnant. I stopped XXXXXXX XXXXXXX as soon as I found out, and continued to take my prenatals. My concern is the Vitafusion gummies have 4000 IU's and the XXXXXXX XXXXXXX bar had 30% Vitamin A and of the 30% half was palmitate and the other was betacaratyne. I am concerned that my body was getting too much Vitamin A during the four weeks I did not know I was pregnant. I am concerned I may have harmed the baby and caused a birth defect. How concerned should I be?
Posted Mon, 10 Mar 2014 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Madhuri N Bagde 25 minutes later
Brief Answer: High doses of vitamin A are toxic for the baby Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for the query. I understand that you have been taking 4000 IU of vitamin A and another 1000 [30% of recommended daily intake] IU from the bar. Also some vitamin must be coming from the diet. A typical American diet provides about 5000 IU. This indicates that you may have taken it above the maximum recommended daily allowance [8000IU]. Vitamin A influences growth and hence can cause defects in the baby. The effects in animal studies are variable affecting multiple systems. High doses have been associated with behavioral problems in children. It would help me to know your last menstrual period and for how long after the period you took both the forms. Having said all this, fetal malformations do not occur in every exposed person. So it is difficult to say how much and what type of harm may have occurred if at all it has occurred. A level 4 sonography may show structural defects if any after at least 16-20 weeks of gestation. I suggest that you discuss this with your husband as well as health care provider and then decide about future course of action. Hope this satisfies your query. Thanks for using HCM. Feel free to ask any more questions that you may have. Dr Madhuri Bagde Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will fetus be harmed by high doses of vitamin A? 57 minutes later
My last menstrual period was October 22,2013. I found out I was pregnant at almost five weeks and discontinued eating the bars at that time. I have read that 10,000 IU's should be the maximum daily dosage, so I would in fact be under that more than likely.
Answered by Dr. Madhuri N Bagde 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: Exposed for short period Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for the query. The maximum daily dose is the dose before which you would expect vitamin A toxicity to occur. The recommended dose to avoid fetal anomalies is around 8000 IU or even lower. If you stopped at 5 weeks, the baby usually gets attached to the mother between 3-4 weeks. So potentially it was exposed for a very short duration maybe one week or so. You are in your second trimester already. Get an ultrasound [anomaly scan] done now to look for the fetal health. Hope this was informative. Feel free to ask any more queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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