What is Vitamin A for?
Vitamin A is a vitamin. It can be found in many fruits, vegetables, eggs, whole milk, butter, fortified margarine, meat, and oily saltwater fish. It can also be made in a laboratory.
Vitamin A is used for treating vitamin A deficiency. It is also used to reduce complications of diseases such as malaria, HIV, measles, and diarrhea in children with vitamin A deficiency.
Women use vitamin A for heavy menstrual periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), vaginal infections, yeast infections, “lumpy breasts” (fibrocystic breast disease), and to prevent breast cancer. Some women with HIV use vitamin A to decrease the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breast-feeding.
Men use vitamin A to raise their sperm count.
Some people use vitamin A for improving vision and treating eye disorders including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and cataracts.
Vitamin A is also used for skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, wounds, burns, sunburn, keratosis follicularis (Darier’s disease), ichthyosis (noninflammatory skin scaling), lichen planus pigmentosus, and pityriasis rubra pilaris.
It is also used for gastrointestinal ulcers, Crohn’s disease, gum disease, diabetes, Hurler syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis), sinus infections, hayfever, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Vitamin A is also used for shigellosis, diseases of the nervous system, nose infections, loss of sense of smell, asthma, persistent headaches, kidney stones, overactive thyroid, iron-poor blood (anemia), deafness, ringing in the ears, and precancerous mouth sores (leukoplakia).
Other uses include preventing and treating cancer, protecting the heart and cardiovascular system, slowing the aging process, and boosting the immune system.
Vitamin A is applied to the skin to improve wound healing, reduce wrinkles, and to protect the skin against UV radiation.
What is Vitamin A Possibly Effective for?
• Lung cancer. Limited research suggests that taking vitamin A by mouth might improve survival and reduce the development of new tumors in people with lung cancer.
• Ovarian cancer. Population research suggests that taking vitamin A doesn’t affect the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
• Cervical cancer. Preliminary clinical research suggests that a specific form of vitamin A, 13-cis-retinoic acid, taken by mouth might improve precancerous changes in the cervix of women with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
• Esophageal cancer. Taking vitamin A in combination with beta-carotene does not seem to prevent esophageal cancer.
• Pancreatic cancer. Taking vitamin A in combination with beta-carotene does not seem to prevent pancreatic cancer.
• Colorectal cancer. Taking vitamin A in combination with beta-carotene does not seem to prevent colorectal cancer.
• Stomach cancer. Taking vitamin A in combination with beta-carotene does not seem to prevent stomach cancer.
• Promoting good vision.
• Age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
• Preventing and speeding recovery from infections.
• Improving immune function.
• Skin conditions other than acne.
• Relieving hay fever symptoms.
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