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Without vitamin A, the body will be like?

Children need small amounts vitamin A To enhance visual function, participate in the immune response process, increase the body’s resistance.

Doctor Pham Ngoc Oanh – Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC) – said that although the body only needs vitamin A In small doses, but if lacking will cause a lot of harmful effects. Vitamin A can be supplemented through nutrition and given vitamin A to children every 6 months for children under 36 months old.

The effect of vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin A has an effect on the retina, helping the eyes adapt to the “light – dark” change quickly. Therefore, vitamin A deficiency means that the ability to see in low-light environments is reduced, early manifestation is the phenomenon of “night blindness” appearing when it is dark.

In addition to the function of vision, vitamin A also plays an important role in promoting the growth and protection of epithelial cells in the eyes, skin, and blood vessels. Respiratory, digestive and urinary tract. With a lack of vitamin A, the production of mucous membranes is reduced, the cells are dry and keratinized. This manifestation is often seen in the eyes, starting with dry conjunctiva, then damage to the cornea and can cause ulcers, blindness if not treated promptly.

According to Dr. Oanh, vitamin A also participates in the body’s immune response, increase resistance of body. Children with vitamin A deficiency are susceptible to infections and when infected, the duration of treatment is prolonged and the risk of death increases. Vitamin A also plays a role in growth and helps children develop normally. Vitamin A deficiency slows the growth of children.

Ways to supplement vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential, but the body cannot synthesize it on its own, but must be supplied from outside through food or supplements. Therefore, the main cause of vitamin A deficiency is a diet lacking in foods rich in vitamin A and carotenes (provitamin A).

In addition, vitamin A, to be absorbed into the body, must be present fat. Therefore, a low-fat or fat-free diet will reduce the absorption of vitamin A. Children who are not breastfed are very susceptible to vitamin A deficiency. Parasitic infections (especially roundworms) and bacterial infections ( measles, diarrhea, respiratory infections) have also been associated with vitamin A deficiency.

Without vitamin A, the body will be like?  - 1 . photo

Foods rich in vitamin A


How to prevent vitamin A deficiency?

Doctor Ngoc Oanh recommends that parents give their children a variety of foods, combine a variety of foods, and choose foods rich in vitamin A for their daily meals. Foods rich in vitamin A derived from animals such as liver, egg yolks, butter, milk, cheese, etc., are easily absorbed. Foods high in carotene (pro-vitamin A) of plant origin such as dark green vegetables (water spinach, spinach, amaranth …) or dark orange-yellow root vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, etc.) ripe mango, gac…).

Introduce early breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, continue breastfeeding until 24 months of age or longer with appropriate complementary feeding.

Children’s complementary meals should include foods rich in micronutrients, added fat or oil to enhance absorption vitamin Avitamin D.

Implement food hygiene, personal hygiene and environmental hygiene to prevent worm infection.

Besides the diet, regular high-dose vitamin A supplementation every 6 months for children is an effective solution to contribute to the prevention of vitamin A deficiency. Each prophylactic dose can protect children for 4-6 months. In addition, mothers within 1 month after giving birth were also given high doses of vitamin A supplements at the hospital.

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