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January 1944


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Harriet Lane Home of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1944;67(1):33-43. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1944.02020010040005

The effect on man of the ingestion of large amounts of carotene has been the subject of many articles in the past twenty years. On the other hand, knowledge of the results of overdosage with vitamin A is almost entirely confined to the effects on rats and mice. The lack of experience with hypervitaminosis in man is easy to understand, since only artificial concentrates contain sufficient vitamin A to be dangerous, and the ability to obtain these is limited. Early recognition of the possible danger of hypervitaminosis has limited the employment of excessive amounts in therapy. Moreover, the zone of safety between an adequate prophylactic dose and a dangerous dose is very large. One safeguard is lacking, that against the zeal of a person who is "sold on" vitamins. We have recently observed a case in which enthusiasm for vitamin therapy was present in a mother and eventually in her