Vitamin A has been used as both disease-targeted and prophylactic therapy to reduce morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases for hundreds of years. Vitamin A plays an important role in haematopoiesis, the maintenance of mucosal surfaces, the function of T and B lymphocytes, NK cells and neu-trophils, and the generation of antibody responses to T-cell-dependent and independent antigens. As an immune modulator, vitamin A reduces the severity but not the incidence of certain types of infections: measles, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria and, possibly, infections related to pregnancy. Vitamin A does not appear to reduce the morbidity and mortality from ALRI. As a general rule, there appears to be little value in vitamin A supplementation in populations that are already relatively well-nourished and thus clinical investigation of immune modulation by vitamin A should be focused on populations at high risk of vitamin A deficiency. Despite the tremendous advances that have been made in our understanding of the role that vitamin A plays in immune function, many gaps in knowledge remain:
These are promising areas for future investigation, which should be addressed in order to gain further insight into the biological functions of this important vitamin.
Was this article helpful?
This guide will help millions of people understand this condition so that they can take control of their lives and make informed decisions. The ebook covers information on a vast number of different types of neuropathy. In addition, it will be a useful resource for their families, caregivers, and health care providers.