Rediff.com  » Getahead » Do you have Vitamin A deficiency?

Do you have Vitamin A deficiency?

January 20, 2016 15:10 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Read on to know why vitamin A is so important for your body!

Do you have Vitamin A deficiency?

Vitamin A is among one of the indispensable nutrients and aids in maintaining sharp vision of eye, youthful glow of the skin and it strengthens the immune system.

Besides these, it is a vital factor that enhances the digestive system, as a healthy liver can store around 80 per cent of the vitamin A in the body.

In fact, the invention of vitamin line-up started with vitamin A.

The unknown truth about vitamin A is, it is a fat soluble nutrient and should be essentially taken with fat, as it can be extracted by the body only when it dissolves in fat.

Therefore, liver disorder or fat mal-absorption may lead to vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin A is bountiful in green vegetables, carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe melons , yellow peppers, spinach, broccoli and animal food sources such as liver, eggs, enriched margarine, milk products, yoghurt and fish liver oils.

Very often, the doctors prescribe vitamin A supplements to balance the deficiency and many multi-vitamin tonics and supplements have a substantial amount of vitamin A, while the other vitamins are added in a meagre amount.
Daily requirement of vitamin A:

  • 900 mcg / 3,000 IU for men
  • 700 mcg / 2,300 IU for women
  • 770 mcg / 2,600 IU for pregnant women above 19 years
  • 1,300 mcg / 4,300 IU for lactating women above 19 years

Being an important nutrient in the functioning of a body, it creates disorder in many ways and it is essential to take note of the symptoms caused by vitamin A deficiency.

Scratching eyelids

At the early stage, vitamin A deficiency may lead to eyelid inflammation, which comes along with burning sensation or itchiness.

To be smart, do not always relate the itchiness in the eyes with eye problem rather it may be even because of vitamin A deficiency.

Night blindness

The poor night vision is named as nyctalopia, in medical terms and the researches prove that it is more frequent among men than among women.

Due to the higher need of vitamin A during the pregnancy phase, the risk of night blindness is greater among pregnant women.

Xeropthalmia

Xeropthalmia is also a disorder that emerges in the eyes, especially when vitamin A deficiency prolongs for a longer period of time.

In this case, the tear glands either produce lesser amount or stops secreting tears, causing inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva. Xeropthalmia requires immediate diagnosis and fast treatment or it may destruct eyeball, leading to blindness.

Scaling skin

Very often, people with vitamin A deficiency have rough, scaly and excessive dry skin.

With skin becoming rough and dry, the sweat glands are blocked and cause other skin problems.

Intestinal infection

Since gastrointestinal tract requires sufficient vitamin A for proper digestion, vitamin A deficiency may direct to diarrhoea, dry digestive tract and microbial proliferation, which causes infection.

Prone to diseases

Vitamin A deficiency reduces the production of mucous membrane, all over the body, leading to frequent bacterial and viral infections. Thus, it weakens the immunity system.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Karen/Creative Commons

Get Rediff News in your Inbox: