Vitamin A Palmitate Side Effects


Vitamin A palmitate is a synthetic version of the vitamin A that occurs naturally in animal food sources. It was developed to fortify low-fat and fat-free dairy products, whose natural vitamin A has been stripped away in the fat-removal process. Palmitate originates in palm oil but undergoes so many chemical changes that the result can barely be called a derivative of the oil. Although found primarily in food products, palmitate can be taken orally or by injection to treat vitamin A deficiencies. However, just like natural vitamin A, it can be overdosed, resulting in a number of serious side effects. If you experience any of the below while taking palmitate supplements, call your doctor immediately.

Allergic Reaction

One sign of vitamin A palmitate overdose is some type of allergic reaction. This can manifest itself in itching, rash or hives. It can result in swelling of the hands, face, mouth or throat. You may also be having an allergic reaction if your chest feels tight and/or your breathing is labored.

Stomach Problems

All of the following stomach problems, if they occur while you are taking the vitamin, are signs of toxicity: nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and stomach pains.


Too much vitamin A results in several types of dryness. You may see significant hair loss, dry lips, itchy lips or skin that is cracking, flaking, peeling, significantly dry or itchy.

Eye & Mouth Problems

Call your doctor if you experience any changes in your eyes or mouth. Check to see whether the whites of your eyes have yellowed. If you have any trouble seeing, including double vision or a pain behind your eyeballs, you may be experiencing overdose. Oral symptoms include a sore mouth and/or bleeding gums.

Whole-Body Problems

Certain side effects of vitamin A palmitate affect your entire body. Look out for severe headaches or migraines, sleepiness or fatigue, dizziness or confusion, a feeling of bodily weakness, irritability, or pain in your bones and joints.

Liver Toxicity

Taking too much vitamin A can result in serious liver damage. Signs of liver damage are usually seen when the vitamin is taken over a long period and heavily over-consumed (25,000 to 33,000 IU every day). Look out for the signs of chronic toxicity as listed above, and only take large doses of vitamin A under the supervision of a doctor.

Birth Defects

High doses of vitamin A palmitate should not be taken during pregnancy. Overdose of vitamin A has been linked to birth defects. If you're taking a palmitate supplement, do not get pregnant (this is also why it's so dangerous to get pregnant while on Accutane, which is a form of vitamin A). If you do get pregnant, tell your doctor immediately and stop taking the vitamin.

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