Sneaky Signs That You May Be Deficient In Vitamin A

Sneaky Signs That You May Be Deficient In Vitamin A

There are many nutrients that play pivotal roles, which keep the body functioning at an optimum level. Of those nutrients, many people focus on vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and even vitamin D. As it turns out, vitamin A is necessary for many bodily functions, including a healthy immune system, metabolism, proper vision, good skin care, and more. It also exhibits antioxidant properties that may protect cells from damaging free radicals. 

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in two forms: performed vitamin A and provitamin A. The former is known as retinol and you can typically find it in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. The latter comes from carotenoids in plant foods, including red, green, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables, which the body converts to vitamin A. Although vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries, it is still possible for people to be deficient in this nutrient. Those at highest risk of deficiency are pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, infants, and children. People with chronic diarrhea or cystic fibrosis may also experience vitamin A deficiency. The following signs may indicate if you are deficient in vitamin A.

Dry Eyes

One of the most common and first signs of vitamin A deficiency is dry eyes, or the inability to produce tears. A layer of fluid called tear film works to lubricate the eyes and keep the surface of the eyes clean. Tear film that is healthy is necessary for clear vision, while irregular tear film will scatter light after light hits the cornea. One study found that high doses of vitamin A decreased the prevalence of dry eyes by 63% among infants and children who supplemented for 16 months. 

Infertility And Trouble Conceiving

Vitamin A contributes to healthy reproductive function in both men and women. It also happens to be necessary for healthy development in infants. If you are having difficulty conceiving, low vitamin A levels may be the root of the problem, for either the man or the woman. Research suggests that infertile men may have a higher need for antioxidants because of higher levels of oxidative stress in the body. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant that works to combat oxidative stress and free radicals. Other studies found that female rats with vitamin A deficiency had difficulty getting pregnant and may have embryos with birth defects. 

Increase In Chest and Respiratory Infections

Research is still preliminary in this area, but the initial research shows that vitamin A deficiency may be associated with throat, respiratory tract, and chest infections. Don’t reach for supplements just yet, as over-supplementing can have pretty serious side effects if you aren’t deficient. Vitamin A does offer protective properties against excessive inflammation that contributes to colds and infections. Because of that, vitamin A may protect via regulation of inflammation. 

Dry Skin

Although vitamin A deficiency isn’t the primary reason for dry skin or other skin-related issues, it may play a role. Retinol is commonly on the ingredient lists of many skin care products, and retinol is a derived form of vitamin A. According to research, the skin has retinoid receptors and getting sufficient vitamin A can create healthier new skin cells. This works to reduce inflammation, prevent dryness, and may even reduce wrinkles or improve skin texture.

Night Blindness

This symptom will only happen with severe vitamin A deficiency. Several observational studies reported a high prevalence of night blindness in developing nations. Because of this existing data, health professionals examined the link between low vitamin A levels and a higher risk of night blindness. One study monitored women with night blindness who received vitamin A in the form of food or supplements. Both the supplements and vitamin A-rich foods were able to improve the condition. The women’s ability to adapt to darkness also increased by 50% over six weeks of treatment. 

Problems With Wound Healing

Vitamin A plays a unique role in moderating the body’s inflammatory response. Because of this, it may work to control excessive inflammation. If you have high levels of inflammation in the body, it may take longer for wounds to heal, or they may not heal properly. Vitamin A also works to nourish the skin, helping you avoid dryness and cracking. According to researchers, insufficient vitamin A in the body makes it difficult for wounds to heal properly.

2022-05-20T03:19:44-07:00