Vitamin A, which is also referred to as retinol is a vital nutrient for the body and hence, deficiency of this nutrient can take a toll on your health. The foods, which contain retinol are, spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, kale, carrots, etc. However, some people consume vitamin A supplements in order to increase its content in the body. Consumption of these supplements might lead to excess vitamin A in the body. The overdose can have adverse effects on the body and hence, should be avoided. Pregnant women should avoid excess intake of this vitamin, as it can lead to problems during the birth and might also lead to defects in the child.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble nutrient. This nutrient is transported to other parts of the body via fats and is also stored in fat tissues present in the body. It helps in the functioning of vision cells and in vision correction. It also assists in fighting different kind of infections.
The symptoms of vitamin A overdose might vary according to the excess amount of the nutrient present in the body. However, the symptoms listed below, are the most commonly observed ones:
- Nausea, loss of appetite, and headache are the most commonly observed symptoms.
- Along with that, hair loss and peeling of the skin will also be experienced by some people.
- Enlargement of the spleen and the liver, and menstrual irregularity in females is also observed.
- The people having excess amount of this nutrient might get tired easily and they might also tend to feel weak at times.
- A very common symptom, which is observed during the initial stages of the overdose is dry lips.
The dosage of vitamin A depends a lot on age and gender. Children under the age of 3 years should not consume more than 300 micrograms of it a day. While children whose age lies between four years to eight years can consume up to 400 micrograms daily. Those whose age ranges from 9 years to 18 years should consume around 600 micrograms of the vitamin per day. While those above 18 will require 700 to 1200 micrograms per day. Pregnant and lactating women will require more amount of this vital nutrient than other individuals.
As soon as you come to know that excess vitamin A is present in the body, make sure that you reduce its intake. If you are consuming supplements, curb their usage. In order to maintain an optimum level of this essential nutrient, it is suggested to consume foods containing vitamin A and avoid taking supplements. These supplements should be consumed only if recommended by the doctor, else they might lead to an overdose of the vitamin.