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hypervitaminosis a


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  • The process is called biomagnification*.

    *More or less; the term is used mostly for accumulation of toxins.

    September 11, 2008

  • A.k.a. overdose of vitamin A, sometimes achieved by eating the liver of certain Arctic animals, esp. polar bears but others also.

    "In fact, the polar bear was the last link in a food chain which led to an accumulation and concentration of vitamin A with every step. At the outset the vitamin A was formed in plankton in the sea. The plankton was consumed by fishes, which concentrated and stored the vitamin in their livers; hence the richness of cod-liver oil and halibut-oil. The fishes were then eaten by seals; the seals were eaten by polar bears. As small a quantity as three or four ounces of polar bear liver could contain enough vitamin A to bring on acute illness."

    —Michael Howell and Peter Ford, The Ghost Disease, and Twelve Other Stories of Detective Work in the Medical Field, (New York: Penguin Books, 1985), 337

    September 11, 2008