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Carrots and Pregnancy

Q: I like to eat a lot of carrots and pumpkins and I have heard that too much vitamin A can be harmful to my baby. Is that true?

A: Vitamin A in large doses as a supplement has been shown to have a potentially negative effect on fetal development. Carrots and vegetables, on the other hand, do not contain vitamin A itself but carotene. Carotene is provitamin A and is converted to vitamin A in your body only if your body needs it. You cannot get too much Vitamine A by eating Carotene because the body regulates conversion from carotene to Vitamin A. Although carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, excessive ingestion of carotene causes carotenemia, not vitamin A toxicity. Carotenemia is usually asymptomatic but may lead to carotenodermia, in which the skin becomes yellow. When taken as a supplement, β-carotene has been associated with increased cancer risk; risk does not appear to increase when carotenoids are consumed in fruits and vegetables.

Liver and other meats do contain vitamin A, so by eating those you could ingest a larger amount of vitamin A. Eating carrots and vegetables cannot do any harm to your baby.

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