Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for many different bodily operations, including healthy vision, robust immunity, healthy reproductive capacity, and healthy skin and it can be found in many different foods. In an article published by Health on Point, they noted that Vitamin A is important for our vision, immune system, reproduction, and metabolism, as well as the health of our heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.
2 forms of vitamin A can be obtained from food – The preformed form and the pro-vitamin A form:
- Retinol is another name for the preformed form of vitamin A, which can be found in foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy foods.
- On the contrary, the body is capable of transforming the carotenoid pigments found in plant foods, such as those found in fruits and vegetables that are red, green, yellow, and orange, into vitamin A.
Although vitamin A deficiency is relatively uncommon in developed nations, a significant number of people in less developed countries do not consume enough of the nutrient. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as infants and young children, have an increased vulnerability to nutritional deficiencies. Cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea are two conditions that might put you at an increased risk for deficiency. The following is a list of symptoms and indications of insufficiency in vitamin A.
Vitamin A is essential for the production of new skin cells as well as their maintenance and repair. Additionally, it helps combat inflammation caused by a variety of skin conditions. The growth of eczema as well as other skin conditions may be attributable, at least in part, to an inadequate intake of vitamin A. It is crucial to bear in mind that dryness can have a variety of causes, but one of those causes could be a persistent lack of vitamin A.
Repairing damaged skin and reducing inflammation are two of vitamin A’s many essential roles in the body. Inflammatory skin problems can develop if this essential nutrient is lacking in the diet.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Vision difficulties are one of the most common symptoms associated with a deficiency in vitamin A. In severe cases, a deficiency in vitamin A can result in total blindness or the death of the cornea, a condition that is identifiable by the appearance of spots known as Bitot’s spots. One of the earliest indicators of vitamin A insufficiency is dry eyes, which can also be understood as a failure to produce tears.
Youngsters in India, Africa, and Southeast Asian countries whose meals are deficient in vitamin A are the most likely to suffer from dry eye disease. Vitamin A supplements may help alleviate the symptoms of this condition.
According to the findings of one research, the occurrence of dry eyes was reduced by 63% between many infants and toddlers who got vitamin A nutrients for 16 months. These participants were given high amounts of vitamin A.
Problems with Having Children and Infertility
Vitamin A is essential for reproductive health in both men and women, in addition to the healthy growth and development of infants and children. If you’re trying to get pregnant but are having difficulty doing so, a deficiency in vitamin A could be among the explanations why. According to several studies, when female rats are lacking in vitamin A, they have trouble becoming pregnant and could possess embryos that are prone to genetic abnormalities.
According to the findings of some other studies, infertile men might have a higher need for antioxidants than fertile men do because their bodies are exposed to higher rates of oxidative stress. Among the nutrient content that performs the function of an antioxidant within the body is vitamin A.
A Lack of Vitamin A Has Also Been Linked to the Occurrence of Miscarriages
According to the findings of research that looked at the nutritional concentrations in the blood of women who had multiple miscarriages, the women’s vitamin A levels were significantly lower than average.
Problems with fertility can occur in both men and women if they do not consume a sufficient amount of vitamin A. A lack of vitamin A in the diets of the parents has been linked to an increased risk of stillbirth and birth defects.
Slow Rate of Development
Kids who don’t receive an adequate amount of vitamin A might have their growth slowed down. This is because vitamin A is essential for the healthy advancement of the body of a human being. Multiple studies have demonstrated that taking vitamin A supplements, either on their own or in combination with other nutrient content, can boost overall growth. The majority of studies were carried out on children from less developed countries.
According to the findings of a research that involved more than 1,000 youngsters in Indonesia, those with vitamin A deficiency who took large supplements for four months experienced increased growth of 0.15 inches (0.39 cm) throughout the study compared to children who took a placebo. Adding vitamin A on its own may not have the same effect on growth as taking vitamin A in conjunction with other nutrient content, according to the findings of a meta-analysis of studies.
For instance, in South Africa, kids with underdeveloped growth who received numerous vitamins and minerals had length-for-age rankings that were 0.5 points higher versus those who obtained only vitamin A.
Children who do not get enough vitamin A may not develop normally as a result. It is possible that supplementing with vitamin A and other nutrients together will enhance progress more than complementing with vitamin A on its own.
Infections in The Throat and Chest
Vitamin A deficiency could be the cause of recurrent infections, particularly those that manifest in the throat or chest. Some analysis suggests that taking vitamin A supplements can help with acute respiratory infections, but other studies have found inconsistent results. According to the findings of a study conducted on children in Ecuador, those who were underweight and given 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A per week experienced lesser respiratory infections compared to those who were given a placebo.
On the contrary, the results of a meta-analysis of studies involving children found that children who took vitamin A nutrients had an 8% higher likelihood of getting throat and chest infections. The report recommends that nutritional supplements be administered to individuals who had deficiencies in their bodies. In addition, one study conducted on elderly participants found that high blood pressure of the provitamin A carotenoid beta-carotene could safeguard against respiratory illnesses.
Vitamin A supplements may reduce the threat of infection in children who are malnourished, but they may raise the infection risk in other populations. Adults who have high levels of vitamin A in their blood may have a lower risk of developing throat and lung infections.
Unsatisfactory Progress in Healing
Insufficient levels of vitamin A could be the cause of wounds that fail to heal properly following an injury or surgical procedure. This is because vitamin A encourages the production of collagen, which is an essential aspect of skin that is healthy. According to the findings of some studies, taking vitamin A orally or applying it topically can help strengthen skin.
According to the findings of one study conducted on rodents, oral vitamin A supplementation enhanced collagen synthesis. Even though rodents were taking steroids, which can slow the body’s natural ability to heal wounds, the vitamin still had this impact. The treatment of the skin with natural vitamin A seemed to avoid wounds caused by diabetes, according to supplemental research conducted.
The findings of research conducted on humans are consistent. Particularly in comparison to men of the same age who didn’t apply the cream, those elderly men whose wounds were managed with topical vitamin A saw a decrease in the size of approximately fifty percent.