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.
The study’s results — reported in the Journal of Endocrinology — indicate that taking too much vitamin A can make bones “thin out,” thereby putting them at risk of fracturing easily.