Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Vitamin A Toxicity, my story....

85 posts in this topic

i'm not a doctor so i cant really say. but for me and from my experience that would be too much. however, what's true for one person may not be for another, so you could very well take that much a day with no side effects whatsoever. it also depends on numerous other factors including (but not limited to) how much zinc you take (zinc is vital for proper vitamin a absorption), how much caffeine you ingest (caffeine prohibits vitamin absorption to some extent), how much vitamin a you get from your diet alone, and of course your genetic makeup in general.

the question you need to ask yourself is all that vitamin a benefitting you? (less acne, better skin, etc.) If not why continue taking it? Since vitamin a is fat-soluble, your body stores it in places like the liver, so you don't need to take in new vitamin a every day. when the body needs vitamin a it simply taps into its reserves. hope this helps you.


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm not a doctor so i cant really say. but for me and from my experience that would be too much. however, what's true for one person may not be for another, so you could very well take that much a day with no side effects whatsoever. it also depends on numerous other factors including (but not limited to) how much zinc you take (zinc is vital for proper vitamin a absorption), how much caffeine you ingest (caffeine prohibits vitamin absorption to some extent), how much vitamin a you get from your diet alone, and of course your genetic makeup in general.

the question you need to ask yourself is all that vitamin a benefitting you? (less acne, better skin, etc.) If not why continue taking it? Since vitamin a is fat-soluble, your body stores it in places like the liver, so you don't need to take in new vitamin a every day. when the body needs vitamin a it simply taps into its reserves. hope this helps you.

well i suffer from candida and thus treating through diet and supplementation including vit A and zinc and am not currently consuming any caffeine whatsoever.

as far as actual benefits it is still to early to tell.


it all happens so fast it seems, on a cusp for disaster attached to dreams...


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lol this post is exactly what happened to me exactly around the same time. I am 18 turning 19 and I am in that phase where i've stopped Vitamin A but I know its still in my body. My skin looks pretty good and I still do take about 20mg of Zinc Daily and Fish Oil about 3-4 days a week. Around the same time just like you I stopped using all cleaners and washing with Dan's cleaner once a day. I know for a fact now that my acne was caused by hormones and self inflicted damage put on my Benzoyl peroxide and hydro cortisone creams.

What I am currently suffering because of the Vit A toxicity:

Hair Loss

Back pains

Fatigue

Butterfly Rash( I hope its not Lupus)

how much hair loss have you experienced?

Unfortunately a great amount. It won't stop but it is slowing down. The regrowth of my hair won't occur until all of the excess Vitamin A has left my body. This process will take a long time.

*Read this it is very interesting*

Since my new diet changes which include less carbs and overall less food(pre overeater). I try to eat mainly fatty meals that include a bunch of EVOO and Avocado's daily. I try to eat mainly greens and fruits. Of course I still eat other things because I believe in diversity so I still eat meat/poultry/eggs and everything really.. including pasta... just in moderate portions and not in binges like before. Oh and I have half an avocado before every meal.

**HERE IS THE INTERESTING PART**

Whenever I go a long time without eating.... like 5-6 hours... which doesn't make me hungry because my metabolism is fairly slow......It appears like my body starts to metabolize the excess Vitamin A. I mean I feel it Immediately... my whole face starts getting dry, my lips, my face looks less red.... all because I haven't eaten. Then if I have a small meal and 15mg of Zinc I am in Acne less zone, its marvelous. I notice the difference of my face throughout the day depending on what I eat but most importantly how much I eat. Basically if I have the will and power (very hard for me) to eat just 2-3 small meals... my skin honestly will look good(very few light red marks and ofc still not perfect, but miles better than before).

but consider, that you only overdosed on vitamin A as you was taking it in form of a vitamin supplement, if you'd taken cod liver oil or had eaten tons of carrots you'd never gotten into the problem. Weston Price (see www.westonprice.org) found in his research of indigenous diets of populations across the globe one common, that is, their diets were all extremely high in vitamin A. That's why the westonaprice foundation promotes cod liver oil, though the problem today is that most cod liver oils only contain artificial forms of vitamin A which are added after the Vitamin A is extracted from the cod liver oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of forms of synthetic vitamins A and D are used in supplements. All should be strictly avoided--even small amounts of the synthetic forms of fat-soluble vitamins may be toxic. In fact, the toxicity of these synthetic forms has contributed to the media frenzy about the alleged dangers of vitamins A and D. The media and the medical establishment do not distinguish between the synthetic forms and natural vitamins A and D as found in or derived from animal fats. Decades ago, researchers definitively established the benefits and safety of large doses of natural vitamins A and D. Traditional diets are rich in these nutrients, typically containing upwards of ten times the RDA amounts the government now tells us are adequate. There has never been any indication of anything but benefit from these natural forms of vitamins A and D, including for pregnant women. In fact, these nutrients are particularly important for pregnant women, and foods rich in vitamins A and D were emphasized for pregnant women in virtually all of the traditional cultures studied by Weston Price.

The warnings against vitamin A usually include mention of Arctic explorers who died from vitamin A overdose because they consumed polar bear livers. Actually, the early explorers did not die from eating polar bear liver. They did suffer from exfoliative dermatitis and hair loss. In 1988, a team of Swedish scientists discovered that polar bear and seal livers tend to accumulate the metal cadmium. The symptoms for cadmium poisoning are exfoliative dermatitis and hair loss, but don't expect to hear about this on the evening news. Rather, expect continuing stories about the alleged dangers of vitamins A and D. The media and the medical establishment work together to vilify the very substances that can prevent suffering and disease.

Cod liver oil is a wonderful supplemental source of natural vitamins A and D. I recommend from one-half to two tablespoonfuls daily of high-vitamin cod liver oil, described later in this article, to most of my patients. Carlson Laboratories' imports lemon-flavored Norwegian cod liver oil which is of top quality and is palatable for most people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, there's some slight inaccuracies in this thread:

a) when you stop taking vitamin A overdose the high level of vitamin A in your blood goes back to normal in under about a week, NOT months

b) however... the toxicity that you got from ODing on vitamin A can take several months to recover... you've literally been poisoning yourself; the good news is that it's rare that you will have any long term bad effects from it, but you wouldn't want to get toxicity because among other things it does BAD things to your liver (and your hair will fall out, and it doesn't *always* regrow, but nearly always does), but as I say, it will normally sort itself out in less than a year.

c) the toxicity is much the same as you get with accutane, but less safe (accutane is a version of vitamin A that has relatively low toxicity as these things go)

Somebody mentioned vitamin D. Basically forget about vitamin D. A toxic dose of vitamin D is about a whole bottle of pills per day everyday for three months. That's the acute toxicity.

For chronic dosing. the experiments there have been done say that if you're taking less than about 10,000-20,000 IU per day everyday for the rest of your life then you probably won't ever reach toxicity. FWIW a single pill is usually about 200 IU. So that's 50 pills everyday, and nobody is known to have died. The maximum *recommended* is calculated simply by dividing that (the highest known to be safe) by 10, 'just to be on the safe side'. And that's still a large dose.

Basically in terms of the ratio between what you normally take and what it takes to do you in, vitamin D is one of the safest chemicals there is. Oh yeah, and if you go out in the sun for about 15 minutes and sunbathe, that's about 10,000 IU, right there, made by your own skin.

Pretty much the only people that have ever died of vitamin D overdose were on special pills from their doctor that were 100x stronger; it's *incredibly* rare.

Actually, vitamin D *deficiency* is very common; like 20-30% of the population.


-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, there's some slight inaccuracies in this thread:

a) when you stop taking vitamin A overdose the high level of vitamin A in your blood goes back to normal in under about a week, NOT months

b) however... the toxicity that you got from ODing on vitamin A can take several months to recover... you've literally been poisoning yourself; the good news is that it's rare that you will have any long term bad effects from it, but you wouldn't want to get toxicity because among other things it does BAD things to your liver (and your hair will fall out, and it doesn't *always* regrow, but nearly always does), but as I say, it will normally sort itself out in less than a year.

c) the toxicity is much the same as you get with accutane, but less safe (accutane is a version of vitamin A that has relatively low toxicity as these things go)

Somebody mentioned vitamin D. Basically forget about vitamin D. A toxic dose of vitamin D is about a whole bottle of pills per day everyday for three months. That's the acute toxicity.

For chronic dosing. the experiments there have been done say that if you're taking less than about 10,000-20,000 IU per day everyday for the rest of your life then you probably won't ever reach toxicity. FWIW a single pill is usually about 200 IU. So that's 50 pills everyday, and nobody is known to have died. The maximum *recommended* is calculated simply by dividing that (the highest known to be safe) by 10, 'just to be on the safe side'. And that's still a large dose.

Basically in terms of the ratio between what you normally take and what it takes to do you in, vitamin D is one of the safest chemicals there is. Oh yeah, and if you go out in the sun for about 15 minutes and sunbathe, that's about 10,000 IU, right there, made by your own skin.

Pretty much the only people that have ever died of vitamin D overdose were on special pills from their doctor that were 100x stronger; it's *incredibly* rare.

Actually, vitamin D *deficiency* is very common; like 20-30% of the population.

Yea, I stopped taking all of my supplements in late Novemeber of last year, but still am having slight symptoms of vitamin a toxicity....(been reducing month-to-month)

-slightly dry lips

-desquamation in parts of my face and upper neck

-sporadic, abnormal hair shedding

-intercranial pressure whenever i really exert myself in intense physical activity

and it can't be because of the weather cuz it's summer here with an average temperature each day from 60-85 degrees.

i read on this website (cant post link cuz mods will delete and/or ban me for a short-time) that it takes 200-300 days for the excess vitamin a to be used by my body.....

i figured the RDA for vitamin a for one year is around 1,000,000 iu's (365X3000)....

over the course of one year i consumed around 4,300,000 iu's (365X12000) in preformed vitamin a from supplements alone, not including all the other vitamin a i got from milk, ice-cream, cheese, and other animal origins....so i would say my body is good on vitamin a for a loooooong time. lol


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why didn't you just go on accutane?

my acne wasn't really bad at all, so a doctor would have never presribed it for me. i was dumb and naive and should have stopped as soon as i saw the symptoms arise, but i ignored them for about 14 months before i finally stopped....but even then i didn't realize for sure that the cause of my symptoms was from excess vitamin a until about 2 months ago.


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i read on this website (cant post link cuz mods will delete and/or ban me for a short-time) that it takes 200-300 days for the excess vitamin a to be used by my body.....

i figured the RDA for vitamin a for one year is around 1,000,000 iu's (365X3000)....

over the course of one year i consumed around 4,300,000 iu's (365X12000) in preformed vitamin a from supplements alone, not including all the other vitamin a i got from milk, ice-cream, cheese, and other animal origins....so i would say my body is good on vitamin a for a loooooong time. lol

What I believe happens is that if you take too much retinoid form vitamin A then the liver fills up, and then it overflows into the body. The stores in your liver probably hangs around for a year, but the toxic levels of vitamin A in the blood is gone within hours/days. You have to be careful though, your stores are still high at that point and eating foods with retinoids like liver/cod liver oil are a bad idea for at least a month or so.

I'm a bit surprised you still have the dry lips though; when I came off accutane that went quite quickly.


-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i read on this website (cant post link cuz mods will delete and/or ban me for a short-time) that it takes 200-300 days for the excess vitamin a to be used by my body.....

i figured the RDA for vitamin a for one year is around 1,000,000 iu's (365X3000)....

over the course of one year i consumed around 4,300,000 iu's (365X12000) in preformed vitamin a from supplements alone, not including all the other vitamin a i got from milk, ice-cream, cheese, and other animal origins....so i would say my body is good on vitamin a for a loooooong time. lol

What I believe happens is that if you take too much retinoid form vitamin A then the liver fills up, and then it overflows into the body. The stores in your liver probably hangs around for a year, but the toxic levels of vitamin A in the blood is gone within hours/days. You have to be careful though, your stores are still high at that point and eating foods with retinoids like liver/cod liver oil are a bad idea for at least a month or so.

I'm a bit surprised you still have the dry lips though; when I came off accutane that went quite quickly.

Yea I'm surprised too about the dry lips, but I basically took too much vitamin a for a year and a half and for about 14 of those months i saw symtpoms of dry skin and a little hair loss but didnt trace it to vitamin a initially. accutane is a derivative of vitamin a so perhaps the side effects experienced from accutane is less potent than pure retinol, and that's why victims of accutane side effects see their symptoms subside more quickly??? don't quote me on that, that's just something i've hypothesized.


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why didn't you just go on accutane?

my acne wasn't really bad at all, so a doctor would have never presribed it for me. i was dumb and naive and should have stopped as soon as i saw the symptoms arise, but i ignored them for about 14 months before i finally stopped....but even then i didn't realize for sure that the cause of my symptoms was from excess vitamin a until about 2 months ago.

ohh...i see. Good luck.

PS - DON'T take zinc. It raises vitamin A levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People with acne often have zinc deficiency, and zinc has been shown to improve acne.


-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@karmickandy

yea, i've looked around the web for some more research on the correlation of hypervitaminosis a and high zinc intake, but all i could find was that experts agree zinc is vital in vitamin a absorption....


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh, there are some interesting posts in this thread. I'm not sure about this...

Why didn't you just go on accutane?

my acne wasn't really bad at all, so a doctor would have never presribed it for me.


My Skin Care Arsenal:

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

Aveeno Active Naturals Face SPF 30

Eucerin Redness Relief Moisturizer

Desert Essence Jojoba Oil

TwinLabs Fish Oil

Yaz Birth Control

Completed Accutane 4.21.09 (click to read about it)

Status: Clear


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly 7 months today since I stopped taking vitamin a orally and I'm still experiencing slight side effects. I still have slight desquamation of my top layer of skin, dry lips, minimal hair loss and occasional joint pain. I have hope that the side effects will continue to become less and less in the coming few weeks and months.


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sincerely doubt just 8000 IU of retinol will cause hair loss. The extra zinc should provide protection against vitamin a toxicity, if you actually have it. Retinol is mostly toxic when it's unbounded, but zinc increases expression of retinol binding protein...binding to vitamin a in a 1:1 ratio. When you have more vitamin a unbound to rbp, you are either vitamin a toxic or zinc deficient or both. I remember reading a case report that despite increasing dosage of zinc in a child with hypervitaminosis a, the zinc levels kept falling. Either vitamin a causes zinc levels to be used up more rapidly or induces it's excretion remains unknown...but extra zinc did ease the symptoms before the massive doses of vitamin A negated those benefits.


- My website to help people with acne. Generally for those mild to moderate.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting find Dingo. God bless me and Milk, because my symptoms appear to have faded. I have been taking Zinc for quite some time now and I am not still 100% sure how that affected/affects me.

And yeah 8000UI of Vitamin A seems very like a very small amount to panic about...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I sincerely doubt just 8000 IU of retinol will cause hair loss. The extra zinc should provide protection against vitamin a toxicity, if you actually have it. Retinol is mostly toxic when it's unbounded, but zinc increases expression of retinol binding protein...binding to vitamin a in a 1:1 ratio. When you have more vitamin a unbound to rbp, you are either vitamin a toxic or zinc deficient or both. I remember reading a case report that despite increasing dosage of zinc in a child with hypervitaminosis a, the zinc levels kept falling. Either vitamin a causes zinc levels to be used up more rapidly or induces it's excretion remains unknown...but extra zinc did ease the symptoms before the massive doses of vitamin A negated those benefits.

I'm not talking about massive hair loss, I'm talking like I used to wake up and find multiple strands of hair on my pillow. Now whenever I wear a hat I can find occasional strands in there. And yes the extra zinc did seem to help protect me somewhat b/c I never had dry, chapped lips until I stopped taking zinc and ever since then I've been battling dry lips (even when it's 90 degrees and humid). But as far as doubting whether I have hypervitaminosis a or not, I have experienced almost all of the side effects. I'm twenty pounds lighter now than I was two years ago (I still lift weights and eat the same amount and the same foods), dry lips, desquamated skin, cranial pressure whenever I do something that involves intense cardiovascular excercise (sprinting/running for long periods of time), my high school ring that used to fit now can't even fit on my finger w/o falling off if pointed down (this one is questionable whether or not excess vitamin a caused my bones to lose mass). I don't know if I've stated this before or not, but I used topical Retin-A daily for 3 years so I would think my body absorbed some vitamin a that way. I also used antibiotics (Tetracylcline 500mg 2x a day) for a period of about 6 months.

So for a 5'8, 143 lb. person I think my past history with vitamin a is evidence enough that I have vitamin a toxicity. If that's not the case it is awfully strange how I have all the symptoms of it and how the symptoms are slowly subsiding with time as supposedly the vitamin a stores in my liver return to normal. I have bookmarked about 15 pages on the internet dealing with hypervitaminosis a, and the more I read about it the more sure I become. Here's an excerpt I found comparing retinol vs. isotretinoin (accutane), apparently accutane is more safe than retinol.....

"Significant differences between vitamin A and isotretinoin

with regard to their transport and metabolism account for their

difference in toxicity (3). The major source of vitamin A

(retinol) is the conversion of dietary plant carotenoids in the

intestinal mucosa. Retinol is stored in the liver, which contains

over 90% of body stores. Mobilization from the liver is

accomplished when retinol is bound to a specific transport

protein, retinol binding protein, that delivers it to tissues.

Plasma levels of vitamin A tend to remain constant despite wide

variations in diet. Extremely high dietary intake (eg. polar bear

liver, vitamin A tablets) produces hypervitaminosis A.

Hypervitaminosis A results in greatly increased hepatic stores

and subsequent toxicity.

In contrast, isotretinoin binds to serum albumin. Isotretinoin

is readily absorbed orally and put into circulation via the

portal system. It is not significantly stored in any organ

system, and plasma levels vary with the amount ingested."


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a pic I took recently of the bottom of my feet (aka the thickest part of the skin on your body).....

post-87018-1247230522_thumb.jpg

post-87018-1247230522_thumb.jpg


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn lol, funny you should post this cause just the other day I was wearing sandels and I realised how dry my feet were... like the bottom was all cracked and stuff on the heel. Not as bad as yours tho. Vitamin A eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. just wanted to post how I'm doing on here as kind of a way of making a journal entry.

So I've read up as much as I can about vitamin a, previous toxicity cases, the liver and it's function, etc. Man, I've learned a lot.

To the poster who said that the Zinc I was taking was probably helping prevent any further damage from vitamin a toxicity you are right! Zinc provides binding proteins (RBP) in which the vitamin a latches on to when it's released from the liver. People start to develop toxicity symptoms whenever the vitamin a outnumber the RBP's, and the free, unattached retinol is what really causes the damage causing increased cell differiantion and oxidation and all kinds of abnormal things. And interestingly enough I noticed that after I stopped taking the Zinc my symptoms got worse and my lips felt really dry and flakey.

So I've grappled with the thought of why me? Why can others take the same or more dosage than I did and still be ok? Here's a list of contributing factors in which I believe made me very vulnerable to this.....

-I don't drink alcohol at all (Alcohol is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)

-I don't smoke at all (Smoking is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)

-I seldom drink beverages with caffeine (coffee, cola, etc.)

-I'm 5'8, 145 lbs. with little to no body fat (I've read that bigger, heavier people a) need more vitamin a & b)can store more vitamin a)

-I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet, so I prolly obtain adequate amount of vit. and minerals through there

-I have a pretty regular, adequate sleep schedule (usually 7-8 hours a night)

-I took no other drugs that are known to deplete body of vitamins (antiacids, laxatives)

-I was pretty much done growing @ the time I started regularly taking them (18 1/2) so my body's demand for the vitamin was prolly much lower than previous years

-Not sure if this last factor is a concern or not, but I took Tetracyline 500mg 2X a day for about 6 months when I was 16-17. I've read that long-term intake of antibiotics can harm your liver, but again not sure if that played a role in this.

So taking all of this into account it's much more easy for me to comprehend how I came down with this condition. Just wanted to share this in case anyone was interested.


"Allow myself, to introduce myself"


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Same here, minus taking vitamin A. In fact, I was influenced by your posts (and others) to go off of topicals and try the water only method since last February/March and I have the same problem with dead skin buildup now. I'm not sure what the problem is or what to do about it. Like I said, I've never taken vitamin A before and I'm only now starting to eat more fruits and vegetables every day (for other reasons). So, I'll probably only now be getting more vitamin A from the carrots.

I have been taking zinc since January and am down to 25mg a day. I believe it helps with my inflamed acne. I tried going off of it last month, but started getting some inflamed acne and am now back on it. I am around the same age/weight/height as you. I don't smoke/drink/drink soda and exercise/eat healthy/8-9 hours of sleep, so we're pretty much in the exact same boat here. The only missing link here is the vitamin A supplementation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites