Vitamin A was first identified in 1913 because of its crucial role in vision. Subsequent discovery of its many other duties show that a deficiency will cause a broad range of health problems.
Vitamin A is not a single compound but actually comprises a fat-soluble family of molecules that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and retinyl ester. The term vitamin A also includes certain plant carotenoids called provitamin A because they are dietary precursors of retinol.
Vitamin A is essential for normal vision and eyeball health, a properly functioning immune system, gene regulation, reproduction, embryonic development, health and protection of all the tissues that line the body, including skin and mucosa of the lungs, digestive tract, urinary tract, and genital tract, bone metabolism and normal growth and strong teeth in children.
Vitamin A Deficiency
The United States National Institutes of Health recommends testing vitamin A levels in people with celiac disease at diagnosis. This is because vitamin A deficiency is common in celiac disease. Deficiency can result from incomplete digestion, absorption, or metabolism. (more…)