Vitamin A Supplements Could Harm Bone Health

Vitamin A is a vital nutrient that supports the body's development and strengthens the immune system. Because our bodies do not naturally produce vitamin A, some choose to take supplements.

However, too much vitamin A is likely to harm bone health, researchers warn. vitamin a concept photo When does vitamin A pose a risk to bone health? A new study explores. Normally, we derive vitamin A from the food we eat, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, beef liver, salmon, and several dairy products. Having a balanced, healthful diet should ensure that we have enough vitamin A in our systems.

How much vitamin A someone needs depends on their age, as well as other factors. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that the ideal daily intake of vitamin A is 900 micrograms retinol activity equivalents (mcg RAE) for men and 700 mcg RAE for women aged 19–50. For example, half a cup of raw carrots contains about 573 mcg RAE, and 3 ounces of pan-fried beef liver contain 6,582 mcg RAE, according to the NIH.

Despite the fact that we can derive enough vitamin A from food, some individuals choose to boost their levels of vitamin A by taking supplements. However, over time, this might lead to an overload of this nutrient, which can actually increase a person's risk of experiencing bone fractures. This is what researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have found in a recent study.