Can vitamin A increase my risk for fractures?

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David Slovik, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Several studies have found a link between high vitamin A intake and fractures. A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that postmenopausal women who got more than 3,000 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A daily were more likely to break a hip. And a study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that men with the highest amounts of vitamin A in their blood were also at greatest risk of breaking a bone. Currently, the recommended daily amount of vitamin A is 700 mcg (about 2,300 IU) for women and 900 mcg (about 3,000 IU) for men.
 
You can get vitamin A through the nutrient beta carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A) or as preformed vitamin A. Beta carotene has not been linked to hip fractures. Thus, it's safer to fulfill your vitamin A requirements with beta carotene. If you take a multivitamin, check to make sure that a significant part of its vitamin A comes from beta carotene. Also, avoid taking high-potency vitamin A supplements.

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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.