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Thread: Too much Vitamin A? page

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    maba's Avatar
    maba is offline Senior Member
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    I've been eating liver a couple of times per week. As I'm the only meat-eating peson at home, cooking 1 pack of liver lasts me for a good 3-4 meals and I have it 2 times a day, for 2 days. My fit-day analysis says I have 1300% of my RDA of vitamin A. Am I overdoing vitamin A by eating it for 4 consecutive meals? I've read excess vitamin A can be detrimental to health.


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    ... you might want to do some research. Im not sure about the exact amount, but people have died from vitamin A overdose.


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    I ran out of cod liver oil and keep forgetting to get more when I'm at the store, so I've gone about two weeks without it. In the past week I've noticed a dramatic loss of belly fat. Coincidence? Maybe. I dunno. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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    I'd honestly doubt you're overdoing it. AFAIK, the liver is the first thing hunter-gatherers go for, and they tend to eat it raw and plenty of it. Among one tribe - the Nuer, I think - the liver is regarded as sacred and can only be handled in specific ways. That's all mumbo-jumbo, of course, but it likely has an origin in a pretty concrete understanding of its nutritional value. The rest of a hunter-gatherer diet isn't likely to be lacking in vitamin A either.


    Weston Price apparently found the levels of fat-soluble vitamins, of which A is one, to be some ten times higher in the diets of healthy populations of hunter-gatherers and other traditional groups to what they were in 1930s America. The RDA is likely to be a notional figure based on the sort of levels in modern European/American diets with the realization that levels a lot lower than that are likely to be clinically damaging. That might not mean the typical levels in European/American diets that don't produce immediately obvious clinical problems are really optimal in a wider perspective. The WPAF has an article on vitamin A here:


    http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/vitaminasaga.html


    There was a story that some of the explorers who ate polar bear liver got severe poisoning and that has been attributed to vitamin A. That may lie at the origin of some of the worries about overdoing it - I found a warning on a bottle of cod liver oil not to eat liver if I was taking the oil (which I disregard). However, it seems that Polar Bear livers concentrate cadmium (I've no idea how cadmium finds its way into their diet!) and the explorers actually had the classic symptoms of cadmium poisoning.


    In short, the RDA may not deserve to be taken too seriously. It looks like many populations who were healthier than us had higher levels in the diet than we do and higher than the RDA, so it's not something I worry about.


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    maba's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Mick. Here's a longish article (I haven't read it fully yet) from WAPF, that talks about the relationship between Vit A and D and the high level of one vitamin in the absence of the other might be detrimental.


    http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnut...ina-osteo.html


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    Thanks. I'll have a look at that one.


  7. #7
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    OK. So that article is primarily about osteoporosis but goes all round the houses in an effort, seemingly, to summarize and comment on just about aspect of both vitamins that the writer can think about. Thus, for example, we learn along the way that:
    [quote]

    -carotene also depressed the level of activated vitamin A in the ferrets&#39; lung tissues even in the absence of smoke; in the presence of smoke, it increased the expression of the AP-1 complex, which promotes cancer.</blockquote>


    So:
    [quote]

    -carotene appears to promote cancer by inducing a local vitamin A deficiency in certain tissues.</blockquote>


    So tough luck on the ferrets - and on vegetarian smokers, who erroneously believe the vegetarian establishment when it tells them beta-carotene containing vegetables can supply their vitamin A needs.


    And there are many, many other side-issues like that here.


    But eventually the writer gets back to food. He says in terms of foods cod liver oil is high in both A and D. Whereas:
    [quote]

    livers from both ruminants and poultry animals have only about 12 IU of vitamin D for every 100 grams.</blockquote>


    http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/vitamina-osteo.html#vitamintofood


    Presumably Scandinavians, who lack sufficient sunlight, should probably go back to consuming cod liver oil, as they used to do.


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