Prenatal Vitamins; Beta Carotene vs Retinol

textgram_1537439524Beta carotene vs Retinol

Vitamin A is sourced from Retinol (preformed) or Carotene (provitamin A) in foods.

The recommended Vit A during pregnancy is 1000 RE (retinol equivalents)/day [1]

=3,300 IU (1000 micro gram) as retinol or

=19,800 IU  (6000 micro gram) as beta carotene [2]

this is the combined amount; food + supplemental forms.

Pregnant women 19 years old or older should not consume more than 3,000 microgram RAE a day. This is 10,000 international units.

The average American diet contains 7,000-8,000 IU of Vit A derived from different sources.

The risk of birth defects owing to excess vitamin A (25,000 IU) in the form of retinol has been documented.

Beta carotene has not been associated with toxicity and is therefore the recommended source of vitamin A for women in their reproductive years.

(for food sources containing retinol click here)

(for food sources containing beta carotene click here)

Ensure  the vitamin A in your prenatal vitamins (if containing Vitamin A) is in the form of beta carotene an not retinol.

[1] Teratology society position paper: Recommendations for Vit A use during pregnancy.


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