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: 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. Carrots also help regulate inflammation, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.

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