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Vitamin A (Retinol) Benefits and Signs of Deficiency

Benefits and Functions of Vitamin A (Retinol):

Vitamin A (Retinol) promotes healthy eye function and prevents night blindness. It aids your eyes in adjusting to light changes when going from a bright to a dark environment.

It promotes the growth and health of body cells and tissues, particularly in the mouth, digestive tracts, and the lungs.

It helps to regulate the immune system and guard against bacterial infection. Additionally, it acts as an antioxidant which helps to neutralize free radicals in the body that damage cells.

Vitamin A also helps the body to maintain health of tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and lungs.

Vitamin A is especially crucial for pregnant women, as it aids in postpartum tissue repair.

Signs of Vitamin A (Retinol) Deficiency:

Vitamin A deficiency may occur due to long-term consumption of a diet that supplies insufficient amounts of both both vitamin A and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a type of vitamin A precursor, which can be easily converted by the body into vitamin A.

Those with the highest risk of deficiency are children from the ages of 6 months to 6 years old, pregnant women, and women who are lactating.


A deficiency of Vitamin A can cause night blindness, as well as other eye and vision problems.

A deficiency can contribute to an increase in the susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Altered appearance may occur, including dry and/or scaly skin.

Severe Vitamin A deficiency can also result in decreased function of lung and intestinal tissues.

A deficiency can cause problems during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester when demand for the vitamin is particularly high. A deficiency can result in night blindness in the mother, in addition to problems related to the placenta and possibly low birth weight of the baby.

Vitamin A (Retinol) Toxicity, Overdose:

A vitamin A overdose can cause damage to both the bones and the skin, resulting in weakness and brittleness. Eventually, it could result in fatigue and vomiting. An intake of more than 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day for adults, and 10,000 IU per day for children are toxic levels.

Symptoms of a vitamin A toxicity can include fatigue, discomfort, lethargy, upset stomach, loss of appetite, vomiting, soreness in the joints, irritability, headaches, dry/cracked lips and skin, loss of hair, and yellow skin.

More Information:

Vitamin A (Retinol) Overview

Vitamin A (Retinol) Daily Requirement, Dietary Sources



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