Impact of Vitamin A on Immunity and Infection in Developing Countries

  • Richard D. Semba
Part of the Nutrition ◊ and ◊ Health book series (NH)


The prevention of vitamin A deficiency has emerged as one of the most important public health efforts of this century. The observation that vitamin A supplementation reduces child morbidity and mortality in developing countries (1) has led to programs and new directions of research. Vitamin A capsules have entered the armamentarium for child survival, along with vaccines, oral rehydration, and the promotion of breastfeeding. Vitamin A plays an important role in immune function and resistance to disease. Improving vitamin A intake, whether through improved diet, fortification of foods, or periodic supplementation, is expected to reduce morbidity and mortality for millions of children (2), and there may be many other therapeutic applications for vitamin A that have not yet been realized. The purpose of this chapter is to provide health professionals with a concise review of epidemiological, immunological, and clinical studies of vitamin A, and to present the current recommendations regarding treatment and prevention of vitamin A deficiency in populations in developing countries.


Retinoic Acid Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Tetanus Toxoid Acute Measle Dark Green Leafy Vegetable 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Richard D. Semba

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