Natural Remedies for Immunity
Vitamin A is a critical Vitamin in enhancing immunity. It plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of all the epithelial surfaces in the body, such as the skin, the lining of the respiratory tracts and digestive tracts. These surfaces are the first to be exposed to external environment and foreign invaders.
Role of Vitamin A in
Vitamin A stimulates numerous immunity processes, including the production of antibodies. It promotes the production of lysozymes (anti- infectious agents) in tears, saliva, and sweat and also directly strengthens the immune system by stimulating the all-important thymus gland.
Vitamin A also unleashes powerful T cells into action against bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin A is also an antioxidant. It is very effective in protecting the body from infection.
Research on vitamin A shows that one or two high-potency capsules can reduce the severity of
infections. Vitamin A has been shown to be important in the treatment of measles, chicken pox, respiratory infections, and AIDS. Undoubtedly, it is an essential nutrient for optimal immunity.
When people suffer from infection, they are found to excrete large quantity of Vitamin A. In other words, the body's need for vitamin A increases dramatically when it is under attack. In a study of twenty-nine men suffering from either pneumonia or sepsis, doctors noted that one-third of the men excreted 50 percent of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and one-fourth excreted 100 percent of the RDA for vitamin A. Men receiving an antibiotic also had high rates of vitamin A loss. (1) In contrast, healthy men excreted almost no vitamin A.
Studies in third-world populations have demonstrated the enormous power of vitamin A in boosting resistance to infection and reducing the related mortality.
For example, several other studies in Ghana, India, Indonesia, and Nepal showed that vitamin A supplements reduced death from measles by about one-third. (3,4) Researchers from the Harvard University School of Public Health found that vitamin A supplements (200,000 IU), given once every six months, substantially decreased the risk of death from all causes among twenty-eight thousand Sudanese children. The vitamin had the most dramatic effect on children who were wasted, stunted, or with diarrhea or cough. (5)
Benefits for Vitamin A - How Vitamin A Boosts Immunity
A and Infections
Natural Sources for Vitamin A
Safety and Toxicity
Symptoms of Vitamin A
and Beta Carotene
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Stephensen, C. B., et al., "Vitamin A Is Excreted in the Urine during Acute Infection," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1994, 60:388-391.
Richard P. Huemer, MD., and Jack Challem, Natural Health Guide to Beating the Supergerms, Pocket Books, New York.
Sommer, A., et al., "Impact of Vitamin A Supplementation on childhood Mortality: A Randomized, Controlled Community Trial," Lancet, 1986; 1:1169-1173.
Sommer, A., "Vitamin A, Infectious Disease and Childhood Mortality: A 2cents Solution?," Journal of Infectious Diseases, May 1993; 167:1003-1007.
Fawzi, W. W., "Dietary Vitamin A Intake and the Risk of Mortality among Children," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 1994; 59:401-408.