Vitamin A help?


How is vitamin A (IU) calculated? The SR-25 tracks the carotenoids and reports vitamin A IU. Does this represent potential vitamin A available if all of the carotenoids are converted?

Since my diy is based on vegetable juice, I get toxic doses of vitamin A, but everything I’ve read indicates that the carotenoids are harmless. How can I convey that this is no cause for concern?


To help him ask for help, his vitamin A is at 2000% because of carrots and something else. His carrots are listed as 16703 UI…

#3 So yeah, there is this right here :slight_smile: but honestly I think if you eat those 300gram carrots everyday, perhaps you will end up with orange/yellow skin. I didn’t really take it into consideration in the beginning that beta-carotene doesn’t cause toxicity as the body only converts the amount it needs into vitamin A (or at least not in toxic amount) still, there is good chance of discoloration over long term :slight_smile:


RDAs for vitamin A are given as mcg of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) to account for the different bioactivities of retinol and provitamin A carotenoids (see Table 1). Because the body converts all dietary sources of vitamin A into retinol, 1 mcg of physiologically available retinol is equivalent to the following amounts from dietary sources: 1 mcg of retinol, 12 mcg of beta-carotene, and 24 mcg of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin. From dietary supplements, the body converts 2 mcg of beta-carotene to 1 mcg of retinol.
Currently, vitamin A is listed on food and supplement labels in international units (IUs) even though nutrition scientists rarely use this measure. Conversion rates between mcg RAE and IU are as follows [7]:
1 IU retinol = 0.3 mcg RAE
1 IU beta-carotene from dietary supplements = 0.15 mcg RAE
1 IU beta-carotene from food = 0.05 mcg RAE
1 IU alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin = 0.025 mcg RAE
An RAE cannot be directly converted into an IU without knowing the source(s) of vitamin A. For example, the RDA of 900 mcg RAE for adolescent and adult men is equivalent to 3,000 IU if the food or supplement source is preformed vitamin A (retinol). However, this RDA is also equivalent to 6,000 IU of beta-carotene from supplements, 18,000 IU of beta-carotene from food, or 36,000 IU of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin from food. So a mixed diet containing 900 mcg RAE provides between 3,000 and 36,000 IU of vitamin A, depending on the foods consumed.

So basically, not only are high levels of beta-carotene non-toxic, but you actually need 12 times more of them in terms of mcg to meet your vitamin A requirements.

This isn’t a shortfall of the DIY tool per se, it’s standard to lump vitamin A from all sources together when calculating nutrition. It’s not ideal.

Even though the “red lines” on a DIY recipe look alarming at first, it’s good for the community to be aware of the Vitamin A issue. I’d add a note or a comment to the recipe that the Vitamin A is from vegetable sources and doesn’t pose a toxicity concern. Or, you could base the recipe on your personal (public) Nutrient Profile, and make there be no upper limit for Vitamin A, with a note that you get all your Vitamin A from vegetable sources.

You can even make your own Nutrient Profile have no required amount of Vitamin D, with the understanding that you get adequate Vitamin D from the sun. That’s what I did.


Thanks, Vicc! It looks like I’ll be able to calculate an accurate but unalarming value from that reference and the USDA SR-25.

Since I’m calling my recipe Hippie Juice, I thought that it would be cute to list sunshine as an ingredient, and I don’t see why not for now. Where’s your recipe?


Here’s my nutrient profile, see the notes at the bottom:

I don’t have a recipe ready for public consumption yet (small pun) and the first one I nail down is going to be beef stew (got a prototype in the crockpot right now), so probably not one you’d like to try. :sunny:

I’m going to put together some basic whole food “recipes” or combinations of things that may be eaten in a day to fill all nutrition needs. I’m not the first one to do this, as there are “beans and rice” and various other recipes in the DIY recipe list now.

While I could eat a whole batch of my beef stew recipe over the course of a day (and probably will, sometimes), the other reasons for devising this recipe are:

a) I have to feed my family something
b) if I have a variety of simple recipes that each incorporate complete nutrition, then eating varying amounts of each over the course of a day for adequate daily calories will necessarily impart complete nutrition.

So I may have a nutritionally complete breakfast oatmeal dish, a tuna salad, cookies or “meal squares” etc.

I can freeze portions to microwave for myself later, or make a batch of stew to serve to guests, my whole routine is basically on autopilot, and no one need be the wiser.

My husband is already ready to 5150 me for drinking Ensure Plus and “not eating” so I’m looking for creative ways to branch out.


Here’s a good whole foods daily combo from the DIY recipe list (not vegan but could be easily altered), and it’s dirt cheap. Missing a few things but could be an excellent base. Shows this nutrition stuff really doesn’t have to be rocket science.


Four pounds of potatoes seems a bit much to me. I agree that it’s easy and fun to come up with odd combinations of ingredients that approach completeness with the diy ap. I had one that was based on cauliflower and mushrooms. When the weather cools, I’ll use the ap to plan conventional meals. I thought that my regular diet of adzuki beans, quinoa and a pot full of vegetables (plus supplements) was satisfactory, but I feel so much better on my diy. Now, I’m not so sure.


I turned all of my kids orange at some point with too many carrots. Most notably on the palms and soles.
I made baby food instead of store bought. So it was very concentrated.


I’ve noticed that participants on this forum often use a version of Soylent early in the day followed by a conventional meal in the evening. With the diy ap, couldn’t you can plan on having whatever you like for dinner and then customize a diy recipe (or another conventional meal) to provide whatever’s missing from it? Designing complementary rather than individually complete meals.