Possible hypervitaminosis A From Cod Liver Oil...
by Angela Swift
(New Bern, NC)
My children & I have taken cod liver oil for 6 to 7 years now because I was always told it was healthy. Unbeknownst to me we have had symptoms of vitamin A toxicity all along. My oldest daughter (11yrs old) has had bone pain every once in a while, seborrhea, cracked lips in the winter, & in the last 2 years had needed glasses for farsightedness (she hardly ever gets sun).
My older son (9yrs old) has had dry skin & skin is a little yellow (he goes outside a lot). My youngest son (almost 4) had extremely yellow skin & abdominal pains last year for a couple of weeks & returned again a couple of weeks ago when we started on the cod liver oil after a 2 month abstinence.
My youngest daughter (1&1/2) has had terrible skin problems (dryness, eczema/seborhea) since she was a few weeks old & high liver enzymes when she was a few months old - her skin was actually looking much better until we started on the cod liver oil again.
As for myself, I have had muscle weakness, liver pain, nausea, dry skin (my skin is normally oily), itching, & patches of hair falling out. At first I thought these things were due to pregnancy & post-partum hormones as well as chronic fatigue that I have battled for 12 years; but after reading about vitamin A toxicity I realized most of these symptoms occurred after I had been taking cod liver oil.
We had been using one that provided 5000IU Vit A & 200IU vit D per teaspoon. I actually took about a tablespoon or slightly more during my last pregnancy when I lost
a lot of hair. My daughter had a spot above her behind which the Drs. thought might be a neural tube defect - but thankfully it wasn't. I intend on having the children's liver enzymes & vitamin A levels tested as well as vitamin D status I believe they will be okay but am concerned since I've had liver pain on & off for a few years now & don't know how long it takes for vitamin A toxicity to clear the liver.
I believe if I had known about vitamin D we might have had less problems since I heard it keeps vitamin A in check. Can supplementing with vit D reverse some of these things? what can I give the children to naturally help their liver detoxify? I was told not to give them milk thistle.
Will lemon juice in water help? Also I am Cuban with medium olive skin & since I don't get out much & after taking cod liver oil all this time I've developed a lot of moles on my skin (especially on my back - a tremendous amount) do you think vitamin D supplementation could help that? Sorry for the long email & questions but I can't find a whole lot on the internet about this broad a subject.
Of course we have stopped the cod liver oil & do not plan on ever taking it again. I plan on taking a good quality Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplement
& Vitamin D Supplement
as well as getting tested from now on.
Thank you for any input you may have,
Angela Swift Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner Easy Immune Health.com