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How to overcome vitamin A deficiency?

Q: My relative has been told by her doctor that she has vitamin A deficiency. What exactly is vitamin A deficiency and what are its causes? What should one eat to overcome this deficiency? What food items should be avoided?

A:You have not given any information as to how the diagnosis of vitamin A deficiency was determined. Is the patient suffering from ocular (eye sight) problems or chronic infection? Please note that ESR does not go up with vitamin A deficiency. While there are scores of reasons for ESR to go up, one of the causes is over dosage of Vitamin A supplements. The daily requirement of vitamin A is about 2,250 units per day. Normal diet contains this much quantity. Most of the vitamin pills being marketed contain large amounts of vitamin A such as 10,000 units or more. Excessive consumption of vitamin A supplements can lead to dry hair, rough skin, enlarged liver and increase in ESR. Besides during pregnancy high vitamin A level can lead to birth defects in babies. The natural sources of vitamin A are: butter, cheese, whole milk, egg yolk, fish, liver, green fruits and vegetables.

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