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March 20, 2002

Does High Intake of Vitamin A Pose a Risk for Osteoporotic Fracture?

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(11):1396-1397. doi:10.1001/jama.287.11.1395

To the Editor: Dr Feskanich and colleagues1 found that high intake of dietary retinol (ie, vitamin A) was related to risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women. They interpret these data as supportive of but not conclusive of a causal relationship.

The possible risks associated with high intake of retinol were reviewed in 2001 by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine,2 which found the relevant studies "provocative but conflicting" and concluded that "they are not useful for setting a UL [upper limit] for vitamin A." Thus, the FNB suggested an upper limit for vitamin A of 3000 µg/d of retinol (equivalent to 10 000 IU/d) based on other effects, such as risk of birth defects, recognized as related to excess vitamin A.

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