The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


Posted on
June 17, 2020 by
The VRG Blog Editor

(Image © Luke SW Shutterstock)

The latest Nutrition Hotline column in Vegetarian Journal by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD focuses on Vitamin A Toxicity and Plant Foods. A reader had asked, “If I eat a lot of carrots and sweet potatoes, do I have to worry about vitamin A toxicity?”

     Dr. Mangels’ response begins with, “The short answer is, “No, you won’t develop a vitamin A toxicity from eating a lot of carrots and sweet potatoes. There are two forms of vitamin A in food. The first, called preformed vitamin A retinol, or retinyl ester, is found in foods from animal sources including dairy products, fish, and meat. This form of vitamin A would only be found in a vegan diet in supplements and fortified foods. Preformed vitamin A can be chemically synthesized.

     The second form of vitamin A comes from provitamin A carotenoids. These substances, which our body uses to make vitamin A, are found in plants, especially dark orange or yellow vegetables and fruits, leafy green vegetables, and tomatoes. The most important provitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene.

The two other provitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Even large amounts of the provitamin A carotenoids over a long period of time aren’t associated with vitamin A toxicity.”

The entire column can be read here: https://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2020issue2/2020_issue2_nutrition_hotline.php

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