Vitamin A known as “the anti-infection vitamin”
Vitamin A has been called the anti-infection vitamin because of its role in helping the body combat bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections.
Known as ‘the anti-infection vitamin’, vitamin A plays an essential role in protecting your body from infection. It keeps body surfaces healthy so they can act as barriers to invading micro-organisms. Vitamin A deficiency is often seen in HIV-positive people and this may be due to metabolic changes associated with HIV infection. Skin and membrane alteration partly explain increased sensitivity to infection during Vitamin A deficiency. Even marginal deficits may induce modifications of lung membranes. Vitamin A stimulates and enhances many immune functions including antibody response and the activity of various white blood cells such as T helper cells and phagocytes. This immune enhancing function promotes healing of infected tissues and increases function of anti-infection.
Vitamin A is anti-infection power. Picture this… think of an army of soldiers. There’s the frontline, the backline and everything else in between.
The frontline is your skin & the outer parts of your various tissues and organs. The backline are the more sensitive and crucial organs (i.e. brain, heart). Vitamin A helps to make that frontline stronger with growth and repair.
The frontline that’s your skin & outer barrier is technically called “epithelial tissue.” And this frontline/epithelial tissue is mostly made of fat. And the structure of Vitamin A causes it to be a fat-soluble vitamin that benefits these fatty tissues.
And to go a little further, the frontline/epithelial tissues include your skin, the outer layer of your eyes, mouth, nose, throat, digestive tract and urinary tract. This frontline is your body’s first line of defense against disease, infection and free radicals.
Also, Vitamin A helps to strengthen the mucous membranes of your body. And the mucous membranes are another frontline defense for your body anti-infection.
Vitamin A is very important for keeping your frontline barriers such as the skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs, digestive tract & urinary tract strong. This will help you fight off and protect you against infection.
Epithelial surfaces are adversely affected by vitamin A deficiency causing increased susceptibility to skin and respiratory infections. Immune cells and antibody functions are also affected which may lead to an increase in pre-cancerous cells in the epithelial tissues of the mouth, throat and lungs.
Vitamin A may also help to boost your immune system. Vitamin A plays a role in the development of lymphocytes. These are the cells of your immune system that fight off bacteria and disease. More research is being done to support this claim but a few examples to consider:
• Treating measles and respiratory infections – especially helpful for children.
• Viral infections
• May help AIDS patients or anyone whose immune system is depressed by boosting their immune cells.
Adequate vitamin A intake, either from diet or supplements, is very important in preventing sickness and death in children. Many studies have found that vitamin A supplementation reduces the risk of infectious diseases in areas where vitamin A deficiency is widespread. A recent research review analyzing the results of several studies found that adequate vitamin A intake in children resulted in a 30% decrease in deaths from all causes.
The skin and the lining that covers the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts are important components of the immune system. They are your body’s first barrier anti-infection. The retinol form of vitamin A is responsible for maintaining the function of the cells that make up these barriers. Vitamin A is also needed for the formation and activation of white blood cells.
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