Beta Carotene Better Than Vitamin A During Pregnancy

carrotsVitamin A is extremely important during pregnancy. According to BabyCenter.com “Vitamin A is important for your baby’s embryonic growth – including the development of the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and bones, and the circulatory, respiratory, and central nervous systems. It also helps with infection resistance and fat metabolism.” There are a number of ways to get adequate vitamin A during pregnancy.

There are two forms of vitamin A. Pregnancy.org says, “Retinol is a fat soluble vitamin found mainly in liver, egg yolks, and the fat component of dairy products.” Retinol vitamin A is also known as pre-formed and is used directly by the body as compared to the provitamin vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, which is converted in the body into Vitamin A. Pregnancy.org describes this form as “the water-soluble provitamin, beta-carotene, coming from plants… Beta carotene, in any dose, is not associated with birth defects. Fruits such as carrots, tomatoes, kale and spinach are good sources of this vitamin.”

According to the FDA, “beta-carotene is a substance found naturally in plants, and it can be converted to vitamin A in the body. It is considerably less toxic than the pre-formed vitamin A. Therefore, women of child-bearing age are advised to choose fortified foods that contain vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene rather than pre-formed vitamin A, whenever possible. The vitamin A in fruits and vegetables is naturally in the form of beta-carotene, and high intakes of vitamin A from these sources are generally not of concern. Taking too little vitamin A can result in adverse effects just as can taking in too much. The key is in finding the ‘right amount’ through carefully reading product nutrition labeling.”

Most pregnant ladies will get adequate amounts of Vitamin A from their diet and their prenatal vitamin. According to BabyCenter.com, “Most prenatal vitamins contain at least part of their vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, but some over-the-counter brands, other kinds of multivitamins, and some fortified foods contain significant amounts of preformed vitamin A, so check the labels or show them to your practitioner before taking them.”

We are proud to offer a prenatal supplement that contains plant sourced vitamin A that is more safe and provides better bioavailablity than the pre-formed version. If there’s any concern about your intake of Vitamin A be sure to talk to your doctor right away.