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Vitamin D RDA for women

Can I know what is the exact daily requirement of calcium and vitamin d for my body. I am 31, female.

Answer:

For calcium, the recommended daily allowance for an adult woman is 1000mg per day. Regarding Vitamin D the RDA has been reviewed and is currently set at 600iu for women 19-50.

Vitamin A in pregnancy

I am 19 weeks pregnant and started tracking my nutrition. I do not eat meat, but I do consume dairy and eggs. My food consumption from dairy, eggs, fortified cereal, and fruits/vegetables is always around 780 mcg (sometimes a little more sometimes less). I take a prenatal vitamin with 4000 IU of Vitamin A as beta carotene (which I believe is around 2400 mcg). My question is whether the Vitamin A in my prenatal, since it is Vitamin A as beta carotene, could cause me to have Vitamin A toxicity (i.e., birth defects) combined with the food I eat, or whether my body will treat it like the beta carotene in vegetables and only use what it needs?

Answer:

If your pre-natal formula only contains Beta Carotene, as oppose to Vitamin A in the form of Retinol then you should be fine. Beta Carotene has not been associated with toxicity in Humans or Animals. Only Vitamin A in the form of Retinol has been associated with birth defects. The USRDA (recommended daily allowance) established by the Food and Drug Administration is 8,000 IU/day for Vitamin A whereas the National Research Council’s recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A during pregnancy is equivalent to 3,300 IU as retinol, or 5,000 IU of vitamin A from the your diet as a combination of retinol and bet carotene. Dairy products are often fortified with Vitamin A, but as you are not consuming them, this is not a problem. Oily fish such as mackerel, trout, herring, cod and salmon are also rich in retinol. I would recommend switching to some natural unfortified cereals. As a rule fortified cereals, are fortified because of the heavily processed grains that have had all the beneficial nutrients striped from them. They could be considered nutritionally dead once they have been processed. I would suggest looking for an organic un-fortified cereal such as oatmeal as an alternative. To summarise, based on your current diet, your consumption of total Vitamin A from retinol and beta-carotene falls within the current guidelines.

Vitamin Packets

When taking vitamin packets, should you take all the vitamins at once or split and take in two doses.

Answer:

Thanks for your question, it depends on the specific product you are taking. Normally there should be some instructions listed on the bottle or packaging. In general there are some vitamins and minerals that compete for absorption or inhibit the absorption of others. Vitamin C can inhibit copper absorption, and large amounts of copper can lead to vitamin C deficiency. Zinc inhibits copper and iron, magnesium and calcium also compete for absorption. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K require fats to be absorbed so should be taken with a fat containing meal. For this reason some multivitamin formula’s are sold in packs where they can be split up and taken at different times of the day to optimise absorption. On that basis, yes they should be split into multiple doses, but as I originally mentioned, I would suggest following the product specific instructions.

Vitamin and Mineral overdose

I am trying to create the ultimate salad. A salad that contains at least 100% DV in 13 vitamins and 18 minerals and keeping it under 600 calories. It’s not that easy. I have read that it can be dangerous if you consume too much vitamins and minerals. What is the likelihood of consuming too much through food? No supplements. If there are certain vitamins and minerals that are more dangerous than others, can you please distinguish them from each other? Thank you.

Answer:

Unlike vitamin tablets, if you are following a varied and balanced diet it is not that easy to overdose on vitamins or minerals found in food. Unless you specifically ate the same food in huge amounts every single day, then you might have a problem. Additionally some vitamins that are dangerous in high doses are not found in fruits and vegetables. Retinol otherwise known as Vitamin A can cause problems at high doses. However in fruits and vegetables they contain a pre-cursor to Vitamin A called Beta-carotene. When consumed the body will convert Beta-Carotene as and when required to Vitamin A. If excess Beta-carotene is consumed the body can get rid of it, so its difficult to overdose on it. As long as you are eating a balanced diet and including fruit and vegetables, you should not be at risk of overdosing.