Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for the body and it has many important implications. Healthy levels of Vitamin A are needed to ensure that the body’s immune and reproductive systems are functioning properly, and it is also vital for good vision. Vitamin A also supports the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth, hair, bones and organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Although Vitamin A is a vital part of a healthy and balanced diet, like anything, it should be consumed in moderation; just because it is a Vitamin does not mean that too much of it won’t do you any harm. It is possible to overdose on Vitamin A and the results can be very serious.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and has many great properties that can improve your health. It’s an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. However excessive Vitamin A can cause a number of problems, including hair loss. Here we’ll explain why too much Vitamin A is bad for you and your hair.
Doesn’t Vitamin A stimulate hair growth?
Vitamin A is essential for healthy hair. It repairs it and helps to keep the scalp moist. Many hair loss treatments contain Vitamin A as it is thought to stimulate hair growth.
The problem is that too much Vitamin A can have detrimental effects on both the hair and body. If you take too much of it, the hair follicles will go into overdrive. This means that your hair will be reaching the end of the growth phase too quickly and falling out. If your body is unable to make new hair quickly to replace it, you can end up experiencing hair thinning and in severe cases, baldness.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means its stores can build up in the body, in the liver where it is stored. Over time, this can cause an overdose, which will not only affect your hair but also your health. Excessive Vitamin A intake is commonly associated with sickness, dry skin, blurred vision and irritability. If you carry on overdosing it can cause even more serious issues like osteoporosis, internal organ damage and if pregnant, birth defects.
How much is too much?
In order to overdose on Vitamin A, you would have to consume around double your recommended daily intake. According to government guidelines, you should be taking no more than 10,000 IU daily (unless prescribed otherwise.) If you are planning on taking any Vitamin A supplements, it is advised that you speak to your doctor first. It is relatively difficult to overdose on Vitamin A purely by eating the foods in which it is found. Vitamin A is found in red, yellow, orange and green vegetables and to overdose on it, you would need to eat a lot of veg! Most Vitamin overdoses are caused by taking too many supplements, so you should always stick you to recommended dose and revisit your GP if you begin to feel unwell.
What to do if Vitamin A has caused hair loss
If you believe you have lost some of your hair as a result of taking too much Vitamin A, then you will need to stop or drastically reduce your intake of the vitamin. Vitamin A stores in the liver, so your body will need to use up all of the reserve before you should consider taking any more Vitamin A. if you have been taking a supplement, it may be advisable to simply get your Vitamin A from foods while your body using up its stores and returns to normal. Once your nutrient levels have evened out, your hair should grow back properly.
If there’s another reason for your hair loss, then too much Vitamin A could make the problem worse. In this case you will need to see your doctor to discuss the root cause of your hair loss and find out what the best course of action is.
How to get a healthy intake of Vitamin A
The best way to avoid taking too much Vitamin A is to get it through food, rather than supplements. Red, yellow, orange and dark green vegetables are all great sources of Vitamin A. You can also get it from eggs, liver, fortified milk and cereals. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and you’ll get all the Vitamin A you need, and your body will be able to process it I a normal manner rather than storing excess amounts which could lead to serious health complications.
Being cautious about hair loss treatments
Many hair loss treatments contain Vitamin A, as it helps to produce healthy sebum, which prevents hair from drying out and breaking off. It is also an antioxidant, which helps to fight free radicals that can damage the hair.
It’s important to be cautious though, as you do not want to end up using a hair loss treatment that contains too much Vitamin A. If you are getting enough in your diet, you could risk overdosing by using a Vitamin A supplement or treatment.
If in doubt, it is highly recommended that you contact your GP. They will be able to discuss your health, diet and lifestyle and give your thorough medical advice on whether taking Vitamin A is necessary based on your unique eating habits. They may also be able to suggest other causes of your hair loss if they believe that you are in fact consuming the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.
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