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How Much Is Too Much Vitamin A During Pregnancy?

Vitamin A is a necessary nutrient during pregnancy that contributes to your health and the development of your baby. However, like many vitamins, vitamin A can be dangerous in high doses. It is important to know how much vitamin A you need and how to avoid consuming unsafe amounts in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Importance of Vitamin A

During pregnancy, vitamin A helps the development of the fetus' heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes and bones. It also helps the circulatory, respiratory and central nervous systems develop properly. Vitamin A can also contribute to your postpartum tissue repair. Symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency include impaired night vision and a weakened immune system.

Recommended Amount

During pregnancy, you need about 770 micrograms of vitamin A each day. But instead of focusing on that exact amount each day, Babycenter states that you can aim for the average recommended daily amount over the course of a week. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, it is not safe to consume more than 3,000 micrograms of vitamin A in one day.

Overdose

Consuming too much vitamin A can result in liver toxicity. Overdose symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and blurred vision. According to the American Pregnancy Association, consuming too much vitamin A during the first trimester has been linked to birth defects such as nerve abnormalities.

Sources

Sources of vitamin A include leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, fish, eggs and fortified cereals. A 1-cup serving of spinach has 141 micrograms and 1 cup of cantaloupe has 270 micrograms of vitamin A. Liver is one of the highest sources of vitamin A . Just one 3-ounce serving of liver can have more than 12 times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, so avoid eating too much of it during your pregnancy.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.