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Can You Suffer From Vitamin A Overdose?

We hear a lot about taking vitamins and being sure that we get enough. Yet there can also be stories about overdosing on vitamins. Most say that there are vitamins that are safe and those that can be toxic. Which is Vitamin A? Is it possible to suffer from a Vitamin A overdose? What are the symptoms that you should watch out for? How can you be sure that you do not get too much Vitamin A in your diet? Are there any lasting effects from a Vitamin A overdose?

Vitamins come in two different forms. There are water soluble vitamins and there are fat soluble vitamins. The difference is that water soluble vitamins that are not used by the body are exported right away. There is no way for them to build up. Fat soluble vitamins are never exported from the body. They are stored in the fat. This means that they can accumulate until there is too much of them in the body. Since most can be toxic at extremely high levels, this makes them at a higher risk of overdose. Vitamin A is one of those fat soluble vitamins. This means that it is possible to suffer from a Vitamin A overdose.

The problem with overdose symptoms is that they closely resemble the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency. Many of the same issues are present and it attacks much of the same body parts. That means that you have to be careful that you are not diagnosing an overdose instead of a deficiency and vice versa. Some symptoms are very clearly an overdose and they include a yellowish to orange skin color, hair loss, headache, bone pain and muscular weakness. However, things like blurred vision, peeling skin, loss of appetite and diarrhea are common of both overdose and deficiency. Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms and adjust your dosage accordingly.

In order to avoid an overdose, you will want to get only the amount of Vitamin A that is needed. You will need to find the proper dosage instructions and follow it carefully. There are factors that will influence how much Vitamin A you need in your body and the dosage guidelines will help you to find which amount is right for you. If you take more than you need it will be stored in your body and could cause an overdose.

There are some problems that could be a lasting effect of a Vitamin A overdose. These are things you want to avoid having happen to you. You could end up with weak and brittle bones or even bone loss. This could make it harder to avoid bone breaks as you age. It could also cause problems with some of your favorite activities. Osteoporosis is another lasting effect of having too much Vitamin A in your body. There is also indications that too much in a pregnant women could cause significant birth defects.

You might be concerned that if you take a supplement you will overdose because you eat a lot of Vitamin A enriched foods. In theory, that could be true. In reality, it is often not a concern. Most vitamin rich foods lose their potency long before you ingest them. They have spent time traveling to your local area, they are processed in various ways and they are then cooked by you. All of this takes away from the vitamins in the foods. For most people, a supplement is the only way to guarantee the right vitamins in the body at the right time. Chances are slim that simply taking a supplement, following the dosage instructions, will result in a Vitamin A overdose.

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