Experimental studies have shown that a lack of vitamin A in the maternal diet during gestation results in widespread structural abnormalities in the young. Pregnant rats maintained on a vitamin A-deficient regimen have been reported to have fewer live young and an increased incidence of fetal reabsorption. Their young show an increased proportion of congenital defects in the visual, cardiovascular, or genitourinary systems.1 Contrarywise, it has recently been found2 that excessive intake of vitamin A also caused congenital defects to appear in offspring of mothers that received this supplement. One hundred fifty female rats were studied after being mated. One hundred received orally 35,000I.U. of vitamin A per day from the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th to 16th day post coitus, while the 50 control animals received no extra vitamin. All animals were killed at, or near, term and the young examined for gross congenital defects.
In the control
EXCESSIVE VITAMIN A AND CONGENITAL ABNORMALITIES. JAMA. 1953;153(13):1176. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940300034012
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