Q. I found out recently that the hair loss I’ve been experiencing over the last couple of years was directly attributable to Vitamin A. I was taking 25,000 IU a day of Vitamin A in my daily vitamin pill. Apparently that is toxic and causes hair loss. I just wanted to warn others.
A. Too much vitamin A can cause hair loss, along with loss of appetite, skin problems, headache, fatigue and many other problems. The usual recommended intake is 5,000 IU daily for adults, so you were definitely getting far too much.

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. PD
    Reply

    This study of 146 patients over 12 years found 25,000iu daily is safe. It is older but I have seen other studies particularly German that conclude same with natural vit a (fish liver oil). High dose A/D can deplete E could be related.

  2. Chris
    Reply

    Did your hair grow back out again? Same texture? I have been experiencing hair loss and just realized that I have been intaking excessive vitamin A and I’m scared it wont grow back out or different texture.

  3. GN
    Reply

    I had an “alternative” doctor tell me that I could take up to 50,000 IUs of vit. A before it became toxic, so I took 30,000 per day and noticed drastic hair loss three weeks afterwards–and my nails turned yellow. I’m down to what’s in my multivitamin now, which is around 5,000 IU. Just because it’s “natural,” doesn’t mean it’s harmless!

  4. Edan B.
    Reply

    Its very much important to understand whether it is a natural source of Vitamin A or a chemical source. Actually hair loss occurs due to less circulation of blood in the scalp, but there are also some diet related reasons which ultimately relates to the blood circulation.

  5. es
    Reply

    I have thinning hair on the top and crown of my head. I take very little Crestor, but increased it last year and have noticed a dramatic difference in the thinning. I also went from 2,000 D to 3,000. Could Crestor or the increase in D be responsible for the thinning? I also take 5,000mcg. Biotin, B complex, 600mg. calcium, 5 mg. Vasotec, 3,000 D, and 2 baby aspirins daily.

  6. kate
    Reply

    I have been taking two 1200 mg of fish oil on dr recommendation and over the past year my hair has been falling out rapidly. Am I correct this may be the cause? I’ve been searching for the reason for my hair loss, could this be it? I’m not taking any more until I find out.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: CHECK THE LABEL ON YOUR BOTTLE OF CAPSULES. IF IT CONTAINS VITAMIN A, IT HAS TO SAY HOW MUCH. SOME FISH OIL HAS HAD THE A REMOVED.

  7. hl
    Reply

    Wow really vitamin A can cause hair loss, hmm I have to research those Vitamin A food or supplement. thanks for the info.

  8. Maryon M.
    Reply

    The AREDS formula for ARMD contains 28,000 units of Vitamin A daily. How do you justify your limit of 5,000 units daily?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THE AREDS RESEARCH WAS DONE A DECADE AGO. SINCE THEN, FURTHER RESEARCH HAS SUGGESTED A MORE MODEST AMOUNT OF VITAMIN A IS BETTER.

  9. Star,C.M.A. (Moderator)
    Reply

    TO:fbl-I researched online about the difference in natural and synthetic vitamin A, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about the difference in the two. Unlike vitamin E, there is ample information on how to tell the difference in the two, as well as what the different forms do in the body.
    This leads me to believe the difference is not as important as the correct dosage. A dosage that is too large can be very dangerous. The person posting the warning, was lucky to have only one problem.
    If I find out any information on the natural vs. synthetic I will post it.

  10. joe r
    Reply

    When I came back from the far east it was winter. I arrived at Camp Lejune and spent 5 days in the hospital with an acute sinus infection and received shots of penicillin. Got out and worked at a GM plant in Parma. I kept 5 hankies in my pockets at all ties cause nose ran like a sugar tree. Went to a chiropractor for muscle spasms. In his air conditioned office my nose ran like a sugar tree. He said take 2500 iu of vitamin A from a fish liver oil. Stopped on the way home, as I though, what have I got to lose? But I did have something to lose, after taking it for 3 months, my sinus problem left me: it works. Friend of mine had the same success. Have been alternative since, 47 years.

  11. fbl
    Reply

    The writer doesn’t mention if it is natural vitamin A or a chemical version. It is my understanding that it makes a huge difference. The bad reports coming from the artificial A.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.