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Vitamin A in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Vitamin A in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Chapter:
Vitamin A in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Author(s):

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198722700.003.0006
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date: 15 October 2019

Vitamin A is critical for visual and reproductive function, supports resistance to infection, and is required for the development of multiple organ systems. including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and skeleton. Both excess and deficiency of vitamin A in pregnancy are associated with birth defects. High intakes of vitamin A, either in the form of supplements or in concentrated food sources such as liver, should be avoided in pregnancy, particularly between day 15 and day 60 post conception. However, in areas with endemic vitamin A deficiency, supplementation in late pregnancy is recommended to prevent night blindness. Most women who are at low nutritional risk can meet their early pregnancy vitamin A requirement from food sources, but should increase their vitamin A intake from food during the third trimester and through lactation.

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