Vitamin A toxicity is scarce, but getting dietary supplements boosts your possibility of acquiring it

a woman sitting on a bed: Vitamin A toxicity can cause headaches and blurred vision. iStock

© iStock
Vitamin A toxicity can result in problems and blurred eyesight. iStock

  • Vitamin A toxicity is reasonably exceptional but can manifest if somebody is getting superior dose supplements. 
  • Indications of vitamin A toxicity incorporate muscle mass and bone suffering, head aches, nausea, and hair decline. 
  • If you feel you have vitamin A toxicity, quit using all supplements, and access out to your health care provider for a blood check.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nourishment and wellness qualified with a non-public follow centered in New York Metropolis.
  • Take a look at Insider’s Health Reference library for a lot more information.

Vitamin A is a extra fat-soluble vitamin that has an crucial part in eye, skin, immune, and prenatal overall health. Nevertheless, taking in far too a great deal of it can have harmful results on the overall body — a situation acknowledged as hypervitaminosis A.


Here is how to understand the signs of vitamin A toxicity and how to take care of it.

What is vitamin A toxicity? 

Vitamin A toxicity comes about when you have much too substantially vitamin A stored in your body fat and liver. This can occur from either topical or oral use of vitamin A. 

You can working experience both acute or continual vitamin A toxicity relying on how very long you have been uncovered to it. 

Acute toxicity

“Acute toxicity appears in just several hours or days of consuming excessive vitamin A,” claims Allison Childress, PhD, a certified dietitian-nutritionist, assistant professor at Texas Tech University, and Chief Medical Dietitian at the Nourishment and Metabolic Health Institute.

For acute toxicity to come about in adults, you have to consume about 100 moments the advisable each day allowance at as soon as. That would be about 8,000 grams. For reference, just one entire sweet potato has .001403 grams of vitamin A. 

Consequently, acute toxicity of vitamin A is very scarce, and just about under no circumstances happens from feeding on foodstuff on your own. People who practical experience frequently get well.

Persistent toxicity

“Long-term toxicity is over a more time length of time these kinds of as months or a long time,” claims Childress.

Continual toxicity occurs when you on a regular basis ingest a lot less than 10 periods your suggested daily consumption more than the training course of months to a long time.

Serious toxicity of vitamin A is additional popular than acute toxicity, and folks commonly make a full recovery.

Vitamin A toxicity indicators

Signs of vitamin A toxicity variety from mild to serious. Listed here are some of the popular signs and symptoms you may practical experience if you have vitamin A toxicity, according to Childress.

Acute toxicity symptoms 

Indications of acute vitamin A toxicity contain: 

Long-term toxicity signs

Indications of chronic vitamin A toxicity involve: 

Eating excessive quantities of beta-carotene — a kind of vitamin A that is uncovered in fruits and veggies — can bring about skin discoloration and give your skin a yellow-orange tint. This symptom is not harmful, although it could be a indication of acquiring toxicity. It could choose up to months for your pores and skin to return to its organic hue.

Difficulties of vitamin A toxicity

Pregnant women of all ages must be specially very careful to prevent using as well much vitamin A, as it can lead to start flaws.

For instance, the popular acne drug isotretinoin — typically regarded as Accutane — is a vitamin A by-product, meaning it acts like an particularly powerful type of vitamin A. This drug is known to bring about beginning defects, which contain cleft lips as perfectly as ear, eye, and psychological flaws. A 2007 critique implies that 18% to 28% of small children that are born whilst their moms are on Accutane will have some type of malformation. 

“If you are using Accutane you need to be intently monitored by a health practitioner,” suggests Taylor Leahy, MS, MPH, a registered dietitian-nutritionist based mostly in College Station, Texas. She also suggests if you could turn out to be expecting you should prevent having the drug as quickly as feasible.

Lengthy-expression issues of vitamin A toxicity involve:

  • Bone destruction that can lead to osteoporosis and hip fractures
  • Cognitive concerns that can induce headaches, nausea, and vomiting

“Anytime you are concerned about your vitamin ranges you ought to communicate to a dietitian or your health care provider,” suggests Childress.

Results in of vitamin A toxicity 

Vitamin A is a unwanted fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in your fats tissues and liver

“Folks with liver challenges are at a high possibility of vitamin A toxicity,” suggests Leahy. If your liver is not working effectively, your entire body won’t be able to effectively soak up vitamin A, which can direct to toxicity. 

Finding vitamin A from your diet plan — from fruits, meats, and dairy merchandise — hardly ever potential customers to toxicity. Vitamin A toxicity happens most commonly in men and women that just take vitamin A dietary dietary supplements. 

Most persons shouldn’t choose vitamin A supplements unless of course directed by their medical professionals. “Our bodies only want a smaller total of vitamin A,” says Childress. “And, most individuals do not need a supplement because we can effortlessly get all the vitamin A we have to have by consuming a well balanced diet regime.” 


A human being may possibly be analyzed for vitamin A toxicity based mostly on the signs and symptoms they existing. If a health practitioner suspects vitamin A toxicity, “they will question about the background of the person’s nutritional consumption and do a blood examination to look at a person’s serum retinol status and retinyl ester that is circulating in the blood,” says Leahy. 

Most signs or symptoms of vitamin A toxicity can be handled by “halting any more supplementation and checking the in general vitamin A ingestion from nutritional resources,” says Leahy.

The moment it truly is stopped, indications usually go away totally in one to 4 months. The duration of recovery time relies upon on how extended vitamin A has been accumulating in your tissues. This means that symptoms brought about by acute toxicity will have faster recovery times. 

Though most signs can be addressed, delivery flaws brought about by vitamin A above consumption are irreversible.


You should really generally converse to your medical professional in advance of using any supplements. If you consider you could be suffering from signs of vitamin A toxicity you should really see your medical doctor. They can enable you take care of any indicators you may perhaps be going through and restore ordinary degrees of the vitamin in your system.

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