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.
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.
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 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.
- Chicken shaped eggs holder with three eggs image by velora from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.