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Vitamin A

Posted On : May 17, 2011

Vitamin A occurs in animal tissue as retinol. There are a number of different provitamins in food of vegetable origin. Disorder yellow and red carotenoid pigments can be changed to vitamin A in the liver.

A number of functions for vitamin A have been found, including defense mechanisms, maintenance of healthy epithelial tissues, and most importantly, a function in the visual system.  A deficiency may manifest itself by: 1.) A scale-like appearance in the skin and occasional acne, 2.) A failure of growth in young animals, including C. station of skeletal growth, and 3.) A failure of reproduction associated with atrophy of the epithelial cells of the testes and interruption of the female sexual cycle.  A deficiency may also represent a decreased visual acuity, and more specifically, night blindness. This was found in a patient who complained that they were unable to read a particular sign at night while driving, but was able to read it during the day

Over the last few decades, the incidence of vitamin A deficiency in the United States has significantly decreased. It is only when the patient shows signs and symptoms associated with the malabsorption of fat soluble vitamins that he or she may be diagnosed with a deficiency.

Vitamin A Deficiency Treatment

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Injectable Vitamin A

When a patient is diagnosed with a deficiency, the treatment will require aggressive oral supplementation. For cases in which vitamin A levels do not respond to “Dry” Vitamin A oral supplementation, intramuscular injections may be required. The usual injected dosage is between 25,000-50,000 international units. Repeated injections in a 3-month interval have been required in some patients to normalize their level, as well as resolving the symptom of night blindness.

When taking oral vitamin A, it is important for patients who have had the Duodenal Switch operation to specifically look for a “Dry” or water miscible form. This is to maximize the amount of vitamin A that can be absorbed even in the presence of reduced fat absorption.

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