Dietary vitamin A and teratogenic risk: European Teratology Society discussion paper

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1999 Mar;83(1):31-6. doi: 10.1016/s0301-2115(98)00228-0.


This review discusses the predictive value of animal models in assessment of possible risk from excess vitamin A consumption during pregnancy and the human evidence concerning risk of congenital malformations from excess vitamin A in the diet, consumed either as a constituent of normal foods or in the form of dietary vitamin supplements. Other sources of exposure to vitamin A include medicines (dermal and oral preparations) and cosmetics, but these are not further considered here. Conservative estimates of the likely safe intake of vitamin A during pregnancy are available, based on results from scientific research to date. However, current uncertainties are such that further research is needed to more clearly define intakes which may be on the borderline between those which are beneficial and those which may pose a risk to the developing embryo and fetus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced*
  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Pregnancy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin A / pharmacokinetics


  • Vitamin A