Vitamin A In The Diet During Pregnancy

Why do you need vitamin A during pregnancy?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the liver. Vitamin A plays an important role in fetal maturation including the development of the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, bones as well as the circulatory system, respiratory system and central nervous system.
Vitamin A is an essential element for women who are about to give birth to help repair tissues after birth. Vitamin A also helps maintain normal vision, fight infections, support the immune system, and help with fat metabolism.
Things to know about vitamin A
There are two types of compounds: active vitamin A and precursor vitamin A. The active form of vitamin A (aka retinol) is used immediately by the body and is found in animal origin products such as eggs, milk and liver. Precursor of vitamin A (carotene) is found in fruits and vegetables, but our bodies have to transform this type into retinol.
More than 600 forms of carotene are found in nature, but only a few can be converted to retinol

Beta-carotene is the most common type.


Vitamin A In The Diet During Pregnancy


The measurement standard for vitamin A is RAE (the equivalent of retinol activity) based on the potency and supply of vitamin A. One microgram (mcg) of retinol (active vitamin A) is equal to 1 mcg RAE, but it is required 12 mcg of beta-carotene or 24 mcg of new alpha-carotene equals 1 mcg of RAE.
Another measurement standard that is still in use (especially on supplement labels) is the international unit of measurement IU. IU is not easy to convert to RAE because the conversion will depend on the form of vitamin A. For example, 900 mcg RAE can be anything from 6,000 to 36,100 IU of vitamin A.
How much vitamin A do you need?
Pregnant women age 18 and under: 750 mcg RAE per day
Pregnant women age 19 and older: 770 mcg RAE per day
Breastfeeding women age 18 and younger: 1,200 mcg RAE per day
Breastfeeding women age 19 and older: 1,300 mcg RAE per day
Non-pregnant women: 700 mcg RAE per day
You do not need to follow the recommended amount of vitamin A per day. Instead, focus on the average amount of vitamin A you need to achieve in a few days or a week

Can you use more vitamin A?
The average American diet provides ample vitamin A.


Vitamin A In The Diet During Pregnancy

It is found in meat, dairy, fish, eggs, and fortified grains in the form of retinol. It is also found in most fruits and vegetables, mostly in the form of carotene.
During pregnancy, too much vitamin A should not be added, as it can cause birth defects and liver toxicity in high doses. However, you can get carotene from fruits and vegetables.
Women 19 and older - pregnant or breastfeeding - should not exceed 3,000 mcg RAE (or 10,000 IU) of vitamin A from supplements, animal foods as well as fortified foods A every day. For women age 18 and under, the maximum vitamin A intake should be 2,800 mcg RAE (9,333 UI).
This is an important reason why you should not double your vitamin intake or take any prenatal supplements unless your doctor recommends it.
Most vitamins used in pregnancy contain a minimum amount of vitamin A beta-carotene, however some other multivitamins or some foods contain active vitamin A.


Vitamin A In The Diet During Pregnancy

Therefore, you should check the ingredients on the label or consult a physician before use.
Excessive use of vitamin A increases the risk of birth defects, so women who are pregnant or about to become pregnant should not take acne medications like isotretinoin (known as Accutane), and Retinol-related drugs (a compound of vitamin A) including topical tretinoin (renin-A) are used for skin diseases.
Food sources of vitamin A
Vegetables (especially oranges, yellow and green vegetables, rich in beta-carotene, are the best source of vitamin A. You can also get a good amount of vitamin A from milk and cereals.
The liver (cow, calf, chicken) contains large amounts of vitamin A, so it should be used only once or twice a month during pregnancy and do not overeat at once.
Some foods are good sources of vitamin A:
1 medium baked sweet potato: 961 mcg RAE (19,218 UI)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin: 953 mcg RAE (19,065 IU)
1/2 cup melted butter, cooked: 572 mcg RAE (11,434 IU)
1/2 cup canned sweet potato, mashed: 555 mcg RAE (11,091 IU)
1/2 cup raw carrots, finely chopped: 534 mcg RAE (10,692 IU)
1/2 cup spinach, cooked: 472 mcg RAE (9,433 IU)
1/2 medium cantaloupe: 466 mcg RAE (9,334 IU)
1/2 cup kale, cooked: 443 mcg RAE (8,854 IU)
1/2 cup collard greens, cooked: 361 mcg RAE (7,220 IU)
28 grams of oat cereal supplement: 215 mcg RAE (721 IU)
1 mango: 181 mcg RAE (3,636 IU)
224 grams of non-fat milk: 149 mcg RAE (500 IU)
224 grams of 2% milk: 134 mcg RAE (464 IU)
224 grams of whole milk: 110 mcg RAE (395 IU)
1 tablespoon butter: 95 mcg RAE (355 IU)
1 large egg: 80 mcg RAE (270 IU)
1/2 cup cooked broccoli: 60 mcg RAE (1,207 IU)
The whole process of preparation (such as chopping, grating, or juicing) and cooking the food make vita money.

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