A) GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
It appears that vitamin A influences growth and development due to its affects on the synthesis of glycoproteins, which in turn may maintain proper cellular function and expression of genes. Deficiencies are especially apparent in the lining of the cornea of the eyes, respiratory tract, intestinal tract, skin, urinary tract and the ducts of secretory glands.
B) SKIN HEALTH
Vitamin A influences the cellular production of mucin and keratin. A deficiency of vitamin A causes an abnormal increase in keratin production, leading to hyper-keratinisation of the skin cells. Vitamin A supplementation has been shown in research to benefit various skin disorders (e.g. acne, psoriasis).
C) EYE HEALTH
Vitamin A is needed by the rods and cones in the eye’s retina, responsible for night and daytime vision respectively. Impaired adaptation to changes in light and poor vision are often found in people with low vitamin A status. A deficiency of vitamin A also causes a ‘hardening’ of the cornea of the eye due to an abnormal increase in keratin production.
D) RESPIRATORY HEALTH
Vitamin A is essential for the integrity of the epithelial lining and protective secretions of the respiratory tract. A deficiency of vitamin A causes an abnormal increase in keratin production, leading to hyper- keratinisation of the cells in the respiratory tract.
E) IMMUNE FUNCTION
The positive effect of vitamin A on maintaining the normal integrity, function and secretions of the body’s epithelial tissue reduces the risk of the tissue becoming infected. Vitamin A also possesses antiviral and immune-enhancing properties, and is essential for proper function and growth of the thymus gland (the master gland of the immune system), while preventing thymus wasting caused by oxidative stress.
• Tissue healing/repair
• Skin health (general)
• Eye health
• Respiratory health
• Immune system support and improved thymus function