Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, as well as a hormone, and controlling gene transcription that allows for the normal proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells.
Clinical Applications of Vitamin A:
- Cancer: therapeutically, retinoids, the active metabolites of retinoic acid (naturally occurring vitamin A) are effective chemo preventative agents in the treatment of skin, head and neck, breast, and liver cancers and certain forms of leukaemia.
- Immune: modulates the immune response through lymphopoesis, apoptosis, cytokine production, the function of neutrophils, and lymphocytes, and immunoglobulin production. Inhibits free-radical production induced by exercise. Vitamin E enhances cellular respiration of muscle cells. Influences many biochemical metabolic effects favourably.
- Visual: contributes to the visual pigment rhodopsin.
- Dermatological conditions Acne vulgaris, prevention of sunburn, Darier’s disease (keratosis follicularis), seborrheic keratoses, ichthyosis, eczema: 25,000 to 200,000 IU/day for 3-21 months, marked improvement, (without causing side effects).
- Enhancing tissue integrity: healing of epithelial surfaces, which may have implications for the prevention or treatment of cervical dysplasia, respiratory-tract disorders and gastrointestinal conditions and for accelerating wound healing following surgery or trauma.
- Eye conditions Allergic and viral conjunctivitis, Sicca (dry eye) syndrome: Vitamin A drops, 1-2 drops in each eye, 2-3 times a day for 30 days. Chalazion: 50,000 to 100,000 IU/day. Night blindness, age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, retinopathy, and xeropthalmia can occur as a result of altered Vitamin A metabolism, or a deficiency.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Gastric ulcer, Crohn’s disease.
- Immune: Infections: high dose, discontinue after 3-5 days.
- Kidney stone prevention: Vitamin A deficiency may promote the development of calcium oxalate kidney stones
- Menorrhagia 25,000 IU twice a day for 15 days, Long-term maintenance therapy with10,000-25,000 IU/day for responders.