What a shock... Butternut Squash has 459% Daily Value nutritional requirements of Vitamin A based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. This works out to 22,868 IU (International Units). When I looked at my analysis for the day, I almost fell off my chair.
After being concerned that CC didn't flag this extreme overage, I searched in on the internet and was even more shocked at what I found. Too much Vitamin A (in your regular diet) can cause birth defects, osteoporosis, central nervous system disorders, and liver abnormalities. And, its not just butternut squash that has these high levels of Vitamin A. Also included are other types of squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and several meats.
Carrots, I can take or leave them. Squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, on the other hand, are right up there with chocolate for me. I'm still going to eat it, but I guess I'll just have to do so a bit more moderately.
Not to worry. The orange foods contain the carotene precursor to vitamin A. There are natural control mechanisms in your body that limit how much of that carotene turns into the active form of Vitamin A (Retinol).
On the other hand, you can easily poison yourself by eating too much Retinol containing foods, usually from animal sources (esp. liver).
Some polar explorers died from vitamin A poisoning when they ate too many dog livers (as the sled dogs died off). One serving of polar bear liver has enough vitamin A to kill you.
Liver isn't very common meal these days. So, I think that you are probably safe.
edit/add: I should have mentioned that the number one reason people overdose on Vitamin A is through supplements.
Thank you so much. What a relief.
Yeah, I saw some mention about the polar explorers too. I wasn't really too worried about the meats... I can live with minimal portions, although I actually do like liver. No one else in my family does, though, so I don't normally have it.
Were all well aware of how important it is to get enough vitamins. The good news, is that it's practically impossible to overdose on most vitamins simply by eating.
Oh gosh me too - terrified!
I read that Vitamin A makes your hair weaker/fall out. BIG issue for me as my hair is in terrible condition as it is.
My daily sweet potato and spinach makes me feel and look great - what's the point looking trim if you have a haystack on your head!?