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How much vitamin A and D do we need?

Q: Is it true that Cod Liver Oil tablets are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty acids and are good for general health? I have bought the Walgreens brand of tablets and each tablet has 1250 IU of Vitamin A (25% daily value) and 135 IU (34% daily value). I have a habit of having a cup of milk everyday. Will these tablets cause an overdose of vitamins A and D? How much exposure to sunlight provides enough vitamin D for the day? Will I have to buy another pack of Cod Liver Oil tablets without the Vitamin Supplements? Gynaecologists recommend folic acid for women planning to conceive, is ok to have both these tablets?

A:There is widespread misconception that vitamin supplements are always helpful and never harmful. Nothing could be farther from truth. Unfortunately companies manufacturing vitamin supplements, due to their commercial interest in selling their products, are as much at fault as lay people who consume them. The daily requirements of vitamin A and D are adequately met from normal food and normal sunlight by normal healthy people. There is absolutely no need for vitamin supplements. Intake of high vitamin A amounts leads to all sorts of side effects including abnormalities in the foetus. High intake of vitamin D leads to high calcium levels in the blood which in turn causes congenital defects in the babies. Vitamin D synthesis occurs in the body by normal exposure to sunlight in our day to day life. There is absolutely no need to expose oneself to sunlight specially for this purpose. Women planning pregnancy should take iron and folic acid (Fecontin-F Continus) 1 tablet daily till labour.

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