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January 2, 2002

Dietary Retinol—A Double-edged Sword

JAMA. 2002;287(1):102-104. doi:10.1001/jama.287.1.102

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Feskanich and colleagues1 report that women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) who had the highest intake of vitamin A and, specifically, retinol had higher rates of nontraumatic hip fracture than women with the lowest intake. This association raises important questions on the safety of long-term ingestion of dietary retinol. But should these observations alter recommendations for retinol or provitamin A intake from foods, fortified foods, and supplements? To answer, the sources and functions of dietary vitamin A must be considered.

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