Cod Liver Oil warning!!!

I thought it may be helpful to alert people to the fact that if you're taking a multivitamin tablet then the A vitamin may go into overdose if you're also taking a cod liver oil capsule. I've been blaming symptoms on my thyroxine when it may well be my 'A vitamin' overdose.

Also I'd like to point out that if a vitamin tablet says it's 100% of your daily dose then what allowance is there for your daily food intake where the vitamins are concerned?

18 Replies

  • Multi-vitamins are a waste of time and money, anyway. Far better to get your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested, and just take what you need, rather than a bunch of stuff that shouldn't be all taken together, and therefore probably won't get absorbed, anyway. That's the allowance for your daily food intake - you can't absorb the stuff in a multi, anyway! lol

  • Hi Greygoose

    My Dr tried everything to correct my anaemia but nothing stayed and it was a friend who suggested a multivitamin with iron. That actually solved my low iron but as you see it has caused other problems. My way was obviously not the best but where the iron was concerned it worked. My Dr is checking my bloods again in a couple of weeks. I am aware that my normal diet is very healthy but for iron which my body won't absorb. Just so long as it's all straight by the time I go on holiday.

    I have osteoarthritis so I have been taking cod liver oil and glucosamine and chondroitin.

    What are your thoughts on TEA, COFFEE and CHOCOLATE?

  • The thing with iron is, there are elements that will assist absorption, like vit C, and there are things that will block absorption, like tea. Possibly the reason you did better with a multi was the presence of vit C.

    Tea, coffee and chocolate are fine, as long as you don't have them near to your iron pill or your levo. These things should all be well spaced out.

  • For what it's worth, I think it's unlikely that you'd overdose on Vit A from taking a multivitamin and cod liver oil. Happy to be corrected. But the way I understand it is that the RDAs for vitamins are set at minimum levels. You'd have to be eating loads of liver and taking the multivitamins for there to be a real problem.

    It's probably a lot more likely that due to modern farming methods (and low fat diets - because Vit A is fat soluble) we're all chronically deficient in Vit A.

    Just my twopenneth. :) I think if you were taking loads of multivits each day and eating loads of Vitamin A rich foods there might be an issue - but most of us don't eat many of those foods.

  • Thanks. The DRD for a woman is 700 and mine added up to 1200. I have since found a multivitamin with iron and lower vitamin A, ie 400, so I could still take the cod liver capsule. I'm giving it a rest for the moment as I've had severe stomach pains. No worries as my Dr is on it and he is very thorough.

  • That's correct it takes some time and quite large dose to get negative impact of vitamin A. If one eats liver then vitamin is not needed as liver has high vitamin A. 27 000 mcg if i remember it correct.

    Recommended to eat maximum once a week.

    If supplementing vitamin A upto 3600 mcg is safe even though RDA is lower. Although if one has liver disease then vitamin A can be problematic on high dose.

    I have understood you need vitamin A and D at the same time , they counteract the toxic effect of each other. Can't remember the ratio, but the ratio was what matters so they would counteract the toxic effect.

  • Have you had your vitamin A levels measured? If you have what were the results, just out of curiosity? I'm wondering how you know that you have an issue with too much vitamin A.

  • Also I'd like to point out that if a vitamin tablet says it's 100% of your daily dose then what allowance is there for your daily food intake where the vitamins are concerned?

    Don't forget that many hypothyroid people are poor at absorbing nutrients from their diet. And many people on drugs like ranitidine (Zantac), omeprazole, lansoprazole have so little stomach acid that they can barely absorb nutrients at all.

  • humanbean

    Hi, my doctor asked what I was taking and that I should check that I wasn't taking more than the recommended daily dose. He drew my attention to the fact that cod liver oil contained A vitamin and that I was also taking multivitamin..

  • So your doctor has thrown you into a panic without actually proving that you have anything to panic about?

    Just to give you an idea of how poor I was in absorbing nutrients, and bearing in mind that I never developed overt hypothyroidism according to blood tests I had done, I was only subclinical, I was very low in iron. The daily requirement for women is set at around 14mg pure iron.

    In order to raise my level of ferritin and other iron measures to mid-range I had to take 207mg pure iron per day for nearly two years.

    I know that different nutrients are absorbed in different parts of the gut, so some nutrients may be better absorbed than others, depending on where damage exists. But I wouldn't panic unless I knew I had something to panic about, and I think your doctor has been quite unkind to make you do so.

  • Oh dear Humanbean

    I didn't intend for it to look as if I were panicking. Although I have been in quite a lot of pain. I'm always relieved when my doctor has an idea as I've not been firing on all cylinders since prior to starting Levothyroxine but I had become very poorly indeed before; that's 8 or 9 yrs ago now.

  • A lot depends on the form of vitamin A.

    Many vitamins contain beta-carotene - which is like two molecules of vitamin A stuck together. While they remain stuck together, they do nothing untoward except, in excess, possibly make your skin orange (like carrots).

    Hypothyroidism can reduce the rate at which we are able to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A.

    It is only if the multi-vitamin contains "pre-formed" vitamin A that you could ever get to an excess. Cod liver oil does contain some pre-formed vitamin A.

  • Oh my goodness helvella. This is getting ever more complicated for me and I have such poor concentration too. My mother who was a nurse has always said that one shouldn't mess with vitamins and stick to good, everyday food. she was right but the iron was my biggest problem. iron rich foods really wouldn't stay in me and neither do the individual tablets and liquids plus vitamin c, having tried all of them.

  • Including haem and ferritin supplements?

  • You might find this document helpful with respect to vitamin A:

  • Thanks helvella

    I have read the UK version of this also!

  • I take spatone iron - it is really good, it's a water naturally high in iron that you mix with a bit of fruit juice and take one or two sachets a day. Normal iron tablets gave me awful stomach pain but spatone is fine for me :-)

  • Morning all - what are the pros and cons for having radiation iodine think I've said that right please correct if I haven't - to kill off thyroid? Would welcome ANY replies please. 😁😁

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