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Vitamin A, immunity, and infection. *

Although a role for vitamin A in immunity to infectious diseases has long been suggested, only in the last decade have epidemiological, immunologic, and molecular studies yielded substantial evidence for a central role. The recent discovery of retinoic acid and retinoid X receptors has provided a molecular basis for the action of vitamin A and its metabolites at the level of gene activation.

At least a dozen clinical trials have now demonstrated that vitamin A supplementation reduces severe morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases among children who have acute measles or who are from areas in which vitamin A deficiency is endemic. Vitamin A deficiency is an immunodeficiency disorder characterized by widespread alterations in immunity, including pathological alterations in mucosal surfaces, impaired antibody responses to challenge with protein antigens, changes in lymphocyte subpopulations, and altered T- and B-cell function.

Vitamin A and its metabolites are immune enhancers that have been shown to potentiate antibody responses to T cell-dependent antigens, increase lymphocyte proliferation responses to antigens and mitogens, inhibit apoptosis, and restore the integrity and function of mucosal surfaces. Vitamin A and related retinoids may have potential applications in therapy for some infectious diseases.

 

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 05-26-2006