- Increased Protection from Bacterial and Viral Infections – Vitamin A is essential for healthy surface linings of the eyes, mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts.
- Proper Immune Functioning – Vitamin A is essential to regulate the immune system, and plays a key role in making white blood cells which fight off infections in the body.
- Cancer Protection (*Food Sources Only) – Studies suggest beta-carotene and vitamin A lower risk of many types of cancer.10 This effect could mainly be from a diet high in vegetables and not from supplements. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to increase risk of cancer.
High Risk Groups for a Vitamin A Deficiency
- Alcoholics – Excessive consumption of alcohol can deplete levels of vitamin A in the body, and even moderate consumption can interfere with vitamin A absorption.
- People with Long Term Problems Absorbing Fat – Problems absorbing fat in the long term can lead to diarrhea and vitamin A deficiency. This includes people with:
Celiac disease – Gluten Intolerance
- Crohn’s disease – Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Pancreatic disorders – The pancreas releases enzymes for proper digestion of fats
- Cystic Fibrosis – Leads to a pancreatic disorder and improper absorption of fats