food and nutrition, pregnancy, vitamin A, fetus, development, pumpkin during pregnancy, vegetables

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: While in large doses, Vitamin A in supplement form 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.

Eating carrots and vegetables cannot do any harm to your baby.

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