Q: I have read that too much vitamin A in your diet can be potentially hazardous. If I receive the recommended amount of vitamin A in my daily diet, will the prenatal vitamin be harmful to me or my baby?
A: It's not the vitamin A in your diet, but vitamin A as a supplement that may be a problem. Regular food contains provitamin A, or carotene, which is only converted to vitamin A if your body needs it. Vitamin A is contained in meats, like liver and beef.
In large doses as a supplement, it has been shown to have a potentially negative effect on fetal development. Based on several studies, the FDA and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that your supplement should be no more than 8000 IU of vitamin A, but 4000-5000 IU is probably enough. It has not been shown that provitamin A in a regular, well-balanced diet has a negative effect.