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Going to Calorie Counting...


Full Member
Hey all I've decided I'm gonna swap to calorie counting because I've just heard that too much Vitamin A can cause osteoporosis later in life and if I've read the can correctly there is 102% of your RDA in the 2 shakes alone and a chance of getting even more in a 600 cal evening meal. I know that these risks are associated with long term over- supplementing but at my weight if I stuck to Slim Fast to lose all of it I would be over-supplementing for a long time.

I'll still be popping in to see how your all doing

Lissy xx
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Full Member
S: 11st13lb C: 11st7lb G: 9st0lb Loss: 0st6lb(3.59%)
best of luck to you on your calorie counting x I'm sure you'll do fab!
Had no idea about the vit a issue, there is a history of osteoperosis in my family - I too have a lot to lose, should I stop SF then? Surely it is just like all these other things that they say x can cause y, and you end up not eating anything! If it was that bad, surely it would have a warning on it. Besides, surely the amount of milk you consume on this diet would be of benefit to osteo care? Any docs out there to offer some input on this?


Full Member
I contacted SF when I found out still waiting on a reply. The info about Vit A is a pretty new thing (OH heard it on the news about 3 weeks ago) Vitamin A itself is not a bad thing, having too much of it is the bad thing. It's like too much fat is bad or too much alcohol is bad but in moderation (RDA) they are perfectly fine.

Lissy xx
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I have just called the helpline, and they were realy helpful. They have got to speak to their nutritionist as they did not know about the link between vit a a etc, they assured me the nutritionist will be emailing me back to advise me further ..... So, watch this space! Hope I can carry on as I love SF - first diet I have stuck to!


Full Member
How much you need each day:
• 600mcg for adult women
• 700mcg for adult men

Why you need it:
Vitamin A is essential for reproduction and growth and development in children. It’s also necessary for keeping the skin, hair and eyes healthy and is particularly needed for vision in dim light. It also keeps the linings of organs such as the lungs and digestive tract healthy, helping the body to fight infections. Beta-carotene (which the body uses to make vitamin A) is also a powerful antioxidant and may help to protect against diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Good food sources
There are two forms of vitamin A available to the body – retinol and beta-carotene, the latter of which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Retinol is found in foods of animal origin such as whole milk, cheese, butter, egg yolk, liver and oily fish. Margarines are also fortified with vitamin A by law. Beta-carotene is found mainly in dark green vegetables such as spinach and watercress, and yellow, orange and red fruits such as carrots, tomatoes, dried apricots, sweet potatoes and mangoes.

Too little
Low intakes of vitamin A can result in poor vision, dry skin, impaired reproduction and growth and an increased susceptibility to infection. In severe cases, it can lead to xeropthalmia or night blindness, which is often seen in third world countries. As retinol can be stored in the liver, a deficiency in this country is rare, although figures from the most recent National Diet and Nutrition survey show that 7% of men and 9% of women have vitamin A intakes below the LRNI. This increases to around one woman in five aged 19-24 years, indicating this group may be the most susceptible to low intakes.

Top tip:
Reduced-fat dairy products are lower in vitamin A than full-fat products because the vitamin is removed with the fat portion of the milk. To get some vitamin A from dairy products when you’re dieting, go for semi-skimmed rather than skimmed milk, low-fat rather than fat-free yoghurts and include small amounts of reduced-fat cheese in your diet.

How to get enough:


Vitamin A Content (mcg)

60g boiled carrots
1/2 mango
1 boiled egg
1 tomato
300ml semi-skimmed milk
30g reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

Watch out!
Vitamin A toxicity, which can damage the liver, bones and eyes, is rare and is usually due to excessive intakes of vitamin A supplements rather than high intakes from food. Research also shows a link between high intakes of vitamin A and reduced bone density, which increases the risk of hip fracture. Meanwhile, large amounts of vitamin A have occasionally been linked with congenital abnormalities in newborn babies, so the Department of Health currently advises all women planning a pregnancy, or who find they are pregnant, to avoid taking vitamin A supplements, except on the advice of their doctor. Because liver can have a high vitamin A content, pregnant women should also avoid liver and liver products such as liver sausage or liver pâté.

It all feels like my post has been made to scare people off SF but it hasn't, SF is good, it's a very structured diet and it's simple to do and stick to, and tastes fantastic, it's just with new findings like these SF need to keep on the ball and be aware of the amounts of vits and mins they have in their food for example why does your 2 daily shakes = 102%? why go above 100% RDA in the first place?

Edit: not all their shakes/smoothies/meal bars have the such a high content, this is just the chocolate one.
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Evening. A friend on mine is a doctor and is qualified in food nutrition, I contacted her, she advied me to steer clear of SF diet alone - BUT, to stick to their outline plan. E.g. have the shake for brekkie, have a 250 cal lunch, then the 600cal main, plus the recommended snacks etc. So really, calorie counting. However, this is only due to the history of osteoporosis in my family and SF do not have all the facts yet. So I will do this until SF let me know more from their findings.


Full Member
My response from Slim Fast;

> Hello from Slimfast
> Dear Alisa,
> Thank you for your recent email,
> In response to your query, it is first important to explain that vitamin A
> is very important in human health, it is essential to the normal structure
> and function of the skin and mucous membranes (e.g. lining the digestive
> system and lungs). It is also required for normal growth and development,
> for normal vision and for the immune system. The recommended daily amount
> (RDA) for vitamin A is 800 micrograms a day. The vitamin A content of the
> powered shakes ranges from 400-500 micrograms, and this contributes from
> 50%-63% of your RDA for vitamin A.
> On the basis of possible adverse effects of high intakes of vitamin A an
> upper limit has been set for vitamin A at 1500micrograms. There is some
> evidence that intakes above this amount may increase the risk of
> osteoporosis. However, there is currently insufficient evidence on the
> association between bone health and vitamin A intakes above 1500 ìg/day to
> justify a change in dietary advice to all consumers regarding consumption
> of foods or supplements containing retinol. There is however, clearer
> evidence that high amounts of vitamin A can harm an unborn baby. On the
> basis of this the FSA advice that if someone is pregnant that they avoid
> foods rich in vitamin A such as liver or liver products such as pate, and
> to also avoid taking supplements that contain vitamin A. So as long as you
> are not taking a multivitamin supplement that contains a high amount of
> vitamin A, limiting consumption of vitamin A rich foods (e.g. liver) there
> is absolutely no risk to your health with using Slim.Fast.
> We hope the following information helps and if you require any further
> advice, then please do not hesitate to contact us again.
> Kind regards,
> Andrea Teixeira
> Careline Advisor
> Unilever UK Limited Registered in England & Wales; Company No 334527
> Registered Office: Walton Court, Station Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
> KT12 1UP

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