Carrots: 5 Side Effects You Should Know

Several side effects of carrots may make you think twice before consuming them. This crunchy veggie has a rich nutritional profile. It is a good source of beta-carotene, an important provitamin. In the body, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A.

Nevertheless, carrots can have unpleasant effects if consumed in excess. They can be severe in some cases. This article examines the side effects of carrots, their safety, and their recommended intake. Read on.

What Are The Side Effects Of Carrots?
1. May Cause Vitamin A Toxicity
In a case report, an individual who consumed excess of carrots was hospitalized on the grounds of abdominal pain. His liver enzymes were found to have elevated to abnormally high levels (1). The patient was diagnosed with a mild case of vitamin A toxicity. Levels of vitamin A up to 10,000 IU have been considered safe. Anything beyond that could be toxic (2). Half a cup of carrot has 459 mcg of beta-carotene, which is about 1,500 IU of vitamin A.

Vitamin A toxicity is also called hypervitaminosis A. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, loss of hair, fatigue, and nose bleeding (3).

Toxicity occurs because vitamin A is fat-soluble. Any excess vitamin A not required by the body will be stored in the liver or fat tissue. This can lead to the accumulation of vitamin A over time and eventual toxicity (4).

Chronic vitamin A toxicity can affect multiple organ systems. It can inhibit bone formation, leading to weaker bones and fractures. Long-term vitamin A toxicity may also affect kidney function (5).

2. Can Cause Allergies
Though carrot alone is rarely responsible for allergies, it may cause reactions when consumed as part of other foods. In a report, the ingestion of carrot contained in an ice cream caused allergic reactions (6).

Carrot allergies may affect over 25% of individuals with food allergies. This could be associated with their allergy to specific carrot proteins (7). Individuals with pollen food syndrome are the most likely to be allergic to carrots (8).

Symptoms of carrot allergy include itching or swelling of the lips and irritation of the eyes and nose (9). In rare situations, carrot intake may also lead to anaphylaxis (6).

3. May Cause Flatulence


Certain individuals may find carrots difficult to digest. This can get aggravated if you have too many of them, eventually leading to flatulence (or stomach gas) (10).

4. Might Be Unsafe For Infants

This has more to do with the size of the carrots. Carrot sticks carry the risk of choking infants (11). Hence, you may want to limit the amount of carrots you are giving to your infants. More importantly, make them into a paste.

5. Can Cause Skin Discoloration
Eating too many carrots can cause a harmless condition called carotenemia. This is caused by too much beta-carotene in your bloodstream, which makes your skin turn orange (12).

Carotenemia is highly unlikely unless you are on a restricted diet in which you are required to eat too many carrots for a long time. One medium carrot contains about 4 milligrams of beta-carotene. Consuming more than 20 milligrams of beta-carotene every day for a few weeks can cause skin discoloration (12).

These are the side effects of carrots you need to be wary about. But as discussed, eating too many of them in a day is a problem. Otherwise, they are among the healthiest foods you can snack on.

How Many Carrots Can You Eat In A Day?
One medium carrot contains about 509 micrograms (RAE, or retinol activity equivalent) of vitamin A (13).

The tolerable upper level of vitamin A to prevent toxicity is 3,000 micrograms RAE per day (14).

This equates to about five to six carrots. Do not to go beyond this. Sticking to three to four carrots a day should be the safe option.


Carrots are highly nutritious root vegetables with many medicinal properties. If taken regularly, their rich antioxidant profile can benefit you in many ways. However, excess consumption of carrots (having more than four per day) may lead to several side effects. This is equally true with carrot juice. A cup (236 grams) of carrot juice contains over 45,000 IU of vitamin A. Overconsumption of carrots may cause vitamin A toxicity, allergies, flatulence, and skin discoloration. It is also unsafe for infants. Hence, eat them in the recommended amounts to avoid any adverse reactions. Consult your health care provider in case of any medical emergencies.


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