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Osteoporosis and Vitamin A

osteoporosisIn older men and women, long-term intakes of preformed vitamin A can be associated with increased risk of osteoporotic fracture and decreased bone mineral density.
Levels of only 5000 IU (1,500 mcg) are enough to increase risk. This is well below the upper limit set at 10,000 IU (3000 mcg) per day. Only high intakes of preformed vitamin A, not beta-carotene, are associated with any increased adverse effects on bone health.

Older men and women may want to limit their supplemental vitamin A intake or take only the beta-carotene form of vitamin A. Many fortified foods such as cereal contain significant levels of preformed vitamin A. The vitamin A in fortified foods should be added to the vitamin A in any supplements to find the total intake.

On the other hand, low levels of vitamin A can adversely affect bone mineral density.
In older people, an intake of preformed vitamin A close to the recommended dose is safest.
The best way to assure safe levels of vitamin A is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and, if supplements are needed, to use the beta-carotene form.


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