DOI: 10.1002/ncp.11096 ISSN: 0884-5336

Effect of vitamin A on maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes: An overview of deficiency, excessive intake, and intake recommendations

Muhammad Umer Ishaq, Digbijay Kunwar, Abdul Qadeer, Aqsa Komel, Adnan Safi, Aqsa Malik, Linta Malik, Anum Akbar
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Vitamin A imbalance during pregnancy and lactation is a global public health concern with potentially negative consequences for fetuses and neonates. Inadequate vitamin A intake during this critical period can lead to anemia, weakened immune function, night blindness, and increased susceptibility to infections. Conversely, excessive intake of vitamin A can result in birth defects, hypercalcemia, and psychiatric symptoms. This review aims to identify risk factors contributing to vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women and its impact on maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes. It also examines the effects of high‐dose vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy on offspring health. By analyzing existing literature and recommendations, the review emphasizes the significance of vitamin A in the development of various body systems and organs. It provides a comprehensive overview of the effects of vitamin A during pregnancy and lactation, encompassing deficiencies, excessive intake, and supplementation guidelines. The need for further research in this field is highlighted. In conclusion, maintaining a balanced vitamin A status is crucial during pregnancy to promote better outcomes for fetuses and newborns. Effective monitoring and intervention strategies are essential to address vitamin A deficiency and excess in pregnant women, thereby improving fetal and neonatal health.

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