Vitamin A Deficiency | 8 Signs & Symptoms, Treatment | Nutrition

vitamin A deficiency

What is vitamin A deficiency?

The lack of vitamin A deficiency in your body is caused by a lack of an adequate amount of vitamin A in your diet. Over time, a lack of vitamin A means that you can develop vision problems and be less able to fight infections.

Signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency

  • Dry skin

Vitamin A is important for the creation and repair of skin cells. Helps fight inflammation caused by some skin problems.

Insufficient vitamin A can lead to the development of eczema and other skin problems.

Eczema is a condition that causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. Numerous clinical studies have shown that alitretinoin, a prescription drug with the action of vitamin A, is effective in treating eczema.

In a 12-week study, people with chronic eczema who took 10-40 mg of ultretinone per day experienced a 53% reduction in their symptoms.

Keep in mind that dry skin can have many causes, but chronic vitamin A deficiency can be the cause.

  • Dry eyes

Eye problems are some of the most well-known problems related to vitamin A deficiency.

In extreme cases, insufficient vitamin A can lead to complete blindness or corneal death, known as biotrophs.

The inability to produce dry eyes or tears is one of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency.

Children in India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, who have a diet deficient in vitamin A, are at risk of developing dry eyes.

Combined with vitamin A it can improve this condition.

One study found that the prevalence of dry eyes in infants and children taking vitamin A supplements over a 16-month period (10 reliable sources) was reduced by 63%.

  • Night blindness

Severe vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness.

Numerous studies have reported that night blindness is high in developing countries.

Due to the scope of this problem, health professionals have worked to improve vitamin A levels in people prone to night blindness.

In one study, women with night blindness received vitamin A in the form of food or supplements. Two forms of vitamin A have improved the condition. Six weeks of treatment (16 reliable sources) increased the woman’s efficiency by more than 50% in response to darkness.

  • Infertility and embarrassment

Vitamin A is essential for reproduction in both men and women, as well as for the proper development of children.

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, a lack of vitamin A may be one of the reasons. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to infertility in women.

Studies show that vitamin A-deficient female rats have difficulty conceiving and may have congenital embryos.

Other research suggests that infertile men may have an increased need for antioxidants due to the higher levels of oxidative stress in their bodies. Vitamin A is one of the nutrients that act as an antioxidant in the body.

Vitamin A deficiency is also associated with miscarriage.

A study that looked at the blood levels of various nutrients in women who had repeated miscarriages found that they had low levels of vitamin A.

  • Growth retardation

Children who do not get enough vitamin A may experience stunted growth. Because vitamin A is essential for the proper development of the human body.

Numerous studies have shown that vitamin A supplements alone or with other nutrients can improve

In fact, a study of more than 1,000 children in Indonesia found that people with vitamin A deficiency were 0.15 inches (0.39 cm) taller than children who took a placebo at four months.

However, a review of studies has found that vitamin A in combination with other nutrients has a greater effect on growth than replacing vitamin A alone.

For example, children who received multiple vitamins and minerals in South Africa had scored more than half a point higher than those who received only vitamin A.

  • Throat and chest infection

Frequent infections, especially in the throat or chest, can be a sign of vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin A supplements can help with respiratory infections, but research results are conflicting.

A study of children in Ecuador found that underweight children who took 10,000 IU of vitamin A per week had fewer respiratory infections than those who received a placebo.

On the other hand, a review of studies in children found that vitamin A supplements increase the risk of throat and chest infections by 8%.

The authors suggest supplementing only those who have an actual defect.

Furthermore, according to a study in the elderly, high blood levels of beta-carotene carotenoid provitamin A may protect against respiratory infections.

  • Poor wound healing

Wounds that do not heal well after injury or surgery may be associated with lower levels of vitamin A.

Vitamin A promotes the production of collagen, an important component of healthy skin. Research suggests that both oral and topical vitamin A can strengthen the skin.

An oral vitamin A improved collagen production in a rat study. Although rats take steroids, the vitamin has this effect, which prevents wound healing.

Additional research in mice has shown that the skin is treated with topical vitamin A to prevent diabetes-related lesions.

Research in humans shows similar results. Older men treated for wounds with topical vitamin A had a 50% reduction in the size of their wounds compared to men who did not use the cream.

  • Acne and breakout

Since vitamin A promotes skin growth and fights inflammation, it can help prevent or treat acne.

Multiple studies have linked low levels of vitamin A to the presence of acne.

In a study of 200 adults, vitamin A levels in people with acne were less than 80 mcg.

Topical and oral vitamin A can treat acne. Research shows that creams containing vitamin A can reduce the number of acne scars by 50%.

One well-known form of oral vitamin A that is used to treat acne is isotretinoin or acute. This drug is very effective in treating acne, but it can have many side effects, including mood swings and birth defects. 


Vitamin A deficiency is very rare in people living in developed countries. For example, in the United States, less than 1% of people have a vitamin A deficiency.

This situation is more prevalent in food-insecure countries where people do not have access to a variety of healthy foods, adequate foods, or both.

According to River, people in food insecure countries are at higher risk of vitamin A deficiency:

  • Babies
  • Children
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women

Treatment of vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency can occur in babies who do not get enough breast milk or formula regularly. Acharya said it also occurs in developing countries where chronic diarrhoea is more common in children.

In more developed countries, the risk of vitamin A deficiency is higher, Doctor says:

  • Someone with bowel diseases such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Alcoholism
  • Minimal food intake, such as an eating disorder
  • Liver disease

These conditions can lead to a vitamin A deficiency due to malnutrition, low nutrient intake, or problems with fat absorption.

The mild form of vitamin A can be easily treated with foods rich in vitamins or with vitamin supplements. You can eat fortified milk, liver, carrots, greens, eggs, mangoes, and squash. Make sure you are not ingesting too much vitamin A and that it is in line with the recommended daily values. It is very important for breastfeeding and normal fetal development of nursing mothers and pregnant women. Too much vitamin A can lead to birth defects.

Vitamin A deficiency can be treated in two ways, Doctor says:

  • Overdose prescription replacement
  • Consumption of foods rich in vitamin A

Adding vitamin A to your diet is usually the first course of action, but supplements may be needed depending on the severity of a person’s symptoms, the professor said. The amount of vitamin A you need from the supplement depends on your age.


To prevent vitamin A deficiency, be sure to eat the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruits a day with oriental foods high in vitamin A. Eat yellowish-red fruits and vegetables because they contain beta-carotene. For people in the high-risk group, vitamin A supplements reduce mortality and loss of vision.

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