Vitamin A is a small group of compounds that are needed in small quantities for the body to maintain its health. This vitamin cannot be produced by the body, so it is one of the important aspects of nutrition.
Although this is rare, however, vitamin deficiencies can have an impact on the body, and individuals at risk for vitamin deficiency are pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, infants and children. So, what are the signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency?
What is vitamin A?
Vitamin A is found in a variety of food sources, including green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, milk and eggs. These vitamins are important for various body functions such as eye health, vision, healthy skin and help fight infections.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is divided into two types;
Preformed vitamin A – also known as retinol and is commonly found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.
Provitamin A – is a type of vitamin derived from carotenoids in plants such as vegetables and fruits in red, green, yellow and orange which is converted to vitamin A by the body.
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency
- Dry skin
Although dry skin can be caused by a variety of other factors, vitamin A deficiency can also be the cause.
These vitamins are essential for the production and repair of skin cells. It also helps fight and prevent inflammation due to some skin problems. Not getting enough vitamin A is likely to cause eczema and other skin problems.
- Recover slowly
Slow wound healing after injury or surgery is associated with low vitamin A levels. This is because vitamin A promotes the production of collagen – an essential component for healthy skin. Studies believe that taking vitamin A either by supplementation or through nutrition can help strengthen the skin.
- Dry eyes
This is one of the most common issues caused by vitamin deficiency. In chronic cases, it can lead to blindness or corneal death. Dry eyes or inability to produce tears are among the first signs of vitamin A deficiency. Most children in India, Africa and Southeast Asia whose diet is low in vitamin A, are at risk for this problem.
Because vitamin A promotes skin development and fights inflammation, it may help prevent or treat acne. Some studies show a low correlation with vitamin A levels with the appearance of acne.
- Growth disorders
Children who do not get enough vitamin A will have developmental problems. This is because vitamin A is essential for the proper development of the human body.
Frequent infections, especially in the throat and chest, are a sign of vitamin A deficiency. Although the results of this study are mixed, vitamin A supplements can help control infections in the respiratory tract.
7. Fertility problems
Fertility problems can happen to both men and women. This is because vitamin A is essential for the reproduction and development of the baby. If you are difficult to conceive, it may be a symptom of vitamin A deficiency, but it can also be a cause for miscarriage. There are other studies showing that fertile men may need greater antioxidants because of the higher levels of oxidative stress in their bodies.
Vitamin A is one of the sources of nutrients that act as antioxidants in the body. However, excessive consumption can be dangerous and harmful to your health. Possible problems include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, bone thinning, liver damage, headache and diarrhea – if taken in large doses continuously for long periods of time.
8th July 2020 14:12