5 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for many a bodily functions, an including proper vision, a strong immune system, reproduction and gooda skin health.

There are two a types of vitamin A found in foods: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A (1Trusted Source).

Preformed vitamin A is an also known as retinol and a commonly found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy a products.

On the other hand, the body a converts carotenoids in plant foods, such as red, green, yellow and an orange fruits and vegetables, into vitamin A (2Trusted Source).

Here are 5 signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency.

1. Dry Skin

Vitamin A is an important for the creation and repair of a skin cells. It also helps fight inflammation due to certain skin an issues  .

Not getting enough vitamin A may be to a blame for the development of an eczema and other skin a problems (4Trusted Source).

Eczema is a condition that causes dry, itchy and an inflamed skin. Several clinical studies have shown alitretinoin, a prescription medication with vitamin A activity, to be effective in treating eczema , people with chronic eczema who took 10–40 mg of alitretinoin per day experienced up to a 53% reduction in their symptoms .

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

2. Dry Eyes

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

In extreme cases, not a getting enough vitamin A can lead to a complete blindness or dying corneas, which are characterized by marks called Bitot’s spots (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Dry eyes, or the inability to a produce tears, is one of the first a signs of vitamin A deficiency.

Young children in India, Africa and Southeast Asia who have diets lacking in vitamin A are most at risk of a developing dry eyes  .

Supplementing with vitamin A can improve this a  condition.

One study found that high doses of vitamin A decreased the prevalence of a dry eyes by 63% among infants and children who took supplements for 16 months (10Trusted Source).

3. Night Blindness

Severe vitamin A deficiency can lead to a night blindness (11Trusted Source).

Several observational studies have reported a high prevalence of night blindness in developing nations   .

Due to the extent of this a problem, health professionals have worked to improve vitamin A levels in people at risk of night blindness.

In one study, women with night blindness were given vitamin A in the form of food or supplements. Both a forms of vitamin A improved the condition. The women’s ability to adapt to darkness increased by over 50% over six weeks of treatment.

4. Infertility and Trouble Conceiving

Vitamin A is necessary for a  reproduction in both men and women, as well as proper development in babies.

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

Studies show that female rats with vitamin A deficiency have difficulty getting pregnant and may have embryos with birth defects.  

Other research suggests that infertile men may have a greater need for antioxidants due to a higher levels of oxidative stress in their bodies. Vitamin A is one of the a nutrients that acts as an antioxidant in the body (18Trusted Source).

Vitamin A deficiency is also related to a miscarriages.

A study that analyzed the blood levels of a different nutrients in women who had recurrent a miscarriages found that they had low levels of vitamin A 

5. Delayed Growth

Children who do not get enough vitamin A may experience stunted growth. This is a because vitamin A is necessary for the proper development of the human body.

Several studies have shown that vitamin A supplements, alone or with other nutrients, can improve growth. Most of these studies were conducted in children in developing nations (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

In fact, a study in over 1,000 children in Indonesia found that those with vitamin A deficiency who took high-dose supplements over four months grew 0.15 inches (0.39 cm) more than children who took a placebo (20Trusted Source).

However, a review of studies found that supplementing with vitamin A in combination with other nutrients may have a greater impact on growth than supplementing with vitamin A alone (22Trusted Source).

For example, children with stunted growth in South Africa who received multiple vitamins and minerals had length-for-age scores that were half a point better than those who received only vitamin A (23Trusted Source). 

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