Can too much preformed vitamin A increase my risk for osteoporosis?

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Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
Several observational studies show that too much preformed vitamin A (contained in animal-based foods, including liver, milk, and eggs) in the diet may raise the risk of osteoporosis, a condition marked by porous, weak bones and a higher likelihood of fractures. The risk appears when people consume more than double the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for preformed vitamin A (ranging from 300 units per day in children to 700 units/day in adults) and may be limited to those who don't get enough vitamin D. An analysis from the Women's Health Initiative of more than 75,000 women found a modestly increased risk of hip fracture only among women with high vitamin A and low vitamin D intakes, as described in a paper in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. There is no evidence of a link between beta carotene and osteoporosis risk.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.