Fat-soluble Vitamin A has a great role to play in maintaining the flow of our bodily functions ranging from head to toe. Usually two forms of Vitamin A can be traced in our food.
Preformed vitamin A, also known as retinol is present in fish, meat, dairy products and eggs. Pro-vitamin A on the other hand is generated when carotenoids from fruits and vegetables is converted by our body.
Although it is extremely rare to come across people suffering from Vitamin A deficiency in developed countries, the same cannot be said about developing nations. Breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women, children and infants stand at heightened risk of succumbing to Vitamin A deficiency.
Chronic diarrhoea and cystic fibrosis can also hike up the risk of deficiency. Today we are going to discuss about 8 of the most common signs of Vitamin A shortage in your body.
What Are The Biggest Signs Of Vitamin A Shortage
Vitamin A has a huge role to play in stimulating the reproductive organs of both men and women. It also assists in proper development of babies. Your chances of reproductive troubles can heighten coupled with lack of Vitamin A.
Studies have revealed that female rats suffering from Vitamin A deficiency tend to carry embryos having birth defects. They also face greater difficulty in conceiving. Infertile men might require greater antioxidants given their higher quantum of oxidative stress.
Vitamin A is one such nutrient which can serve the role of an antioxidant in our body. This is the main reason behind increase in the propensity of miscarriages amongst the female gender.
#2 Breakouts & Acne
Skin development gets promoted by Vitamin A which also assists in fighting inflammation and acne. A study conducted over 200 adults had revealed that the level of Vitamin A amongst people suffering from acne was less than their peers by more than 80 mcg.
Acne can be treated readily by oral or tropical Vitamin A application in the form of creams and moisturizers. Accutane or isotretinoin is a highly popular oral Vitamin A which can accelerate the acne treatment process.
However, this medication can tag along various side effects like birth defects and massive mood swings.
#3 Dry Skin
Vitamin A deficiency stands out as a potent cause behind development of eczema and similar skin ailments. Clinical studies have revealed that the prescription medicine alitretinoin can be of great help in treating eczema by repairing skin cells.
A study was conducted over a span of 12-week on people suffering from chronic eczema. They were administered 10–40 mg of alitretinoin on a daily basis and revealed 53% less symptoms.
#4 Slow Growth
Stunted growth can be traced amongst children having Vitamin A deficiency. Various studies have revealed that administration of Vitamin Ain association with other nutrients can boost up growth.
Children suffering from delayed growth in South Africa were given multiple vitamins and minerals as a part of a study. Their length-for-age scores was better than the group of children consuming just Vitamin A by half a point.
#5 Dry Eyes
One of the biggest problems associated with Vitamin A deficiency is eye troubles. This can even lead to dying cornea or complete blindness in extreme scenarios. Inability of tear production stands out as the foremost sign of Vitamin A deficiency.
It is commonly seen in children of Southeast Asia, Africa and India. However, prevalence of dry eyes decreased by 53% on administration of high Vitamin A doses amongst children and infants over a stretch of 16 months.
#6 Chest & Throat Infections
Vitamin A supplements can assist in treating respiratory tract infections although research results have come to mixed conclusions. These supplements should thus be administered only on those suffering from true deficiency.
High levels of provitamin A carotenoid beta-carotene amongst elderly people can buffer them from respiratory infections.
#7 Night Blindness
Various observational studies have revealed a direct link between the ability to see in low light and Vitamin A deficiency. The extent of this ailment has caused medical experts to recommend Vitamin A consumption to people either vulnerable to or suffering from night blindness.
In one research study, women suffering from night blindness were administered food and supplements containing Vitamin A. This increased their ability by 50% to adapt to dark situations after a week’s treatment.
If this condition goes untreated, people might develop bumps in the white portions of their eyes. A balanced diet can be of great assistance in overcoming such difficulties in case if you do not wish to rely solely on medicines.
#8 Slow Wound Healing
Low levels of Vitamin A have been linked with wounds which do not heal properly after a surgery or injury. The main reason behind this is the production of collagen by Vitamin A.
This serves as an important factor boosting uphealthy skin. It can be taken both in tropical and oral form. A study was conducted on rats and it revealed improved collagen production with administration of oral Vitamin A. The effect of this medication was prevalent even amongst rats taking steroids.
Studies have also revealed that wounds associated with diabetes can be prevented by this. 50% reduction in wound size could be seen in men using tropical Vitamin A creams in comparison to those who didn’t.
It becomes imperative to readily consult a healthcare provider or doctor on suspecting a Vitamin A deficiency. Fixing the same also doesn’t seem to be tough with the backing of proper supplements and food.