Vitamin A deficiency causes:
- eye problems (reduced night vision, opacification of the cornea, dryness of the conjunctiva) ;
- skin problems (dry skin, atrophy of the sebaceous glands);
- reproduction anomalies;
- greater sensitivity to infections and pulmonary complications.
An excess of vitamin A is also harmful to the body (joint problems, reproduction problems).
A little background information
In antiquity, liver was used to treat some visual disorders. Vitamin A was isolated in 1913 and its chemical structure was mapped in 1931. It is a long-chain alcohol that is soluble in fat. It is absorbed in the small intestine and stored in the liver. Beta carotene is a vitamin A precursor for dogs, but cats are unable to realise this synthesis.
Its role in the body
- Vision: adaptation to darkness.
- Reproduction: synthesis of certain hormones.
- Metabolism: synthesis of proteins.
- Skin and hair : regulates the growth of epidermis cells and the production of sebum. Vitamin A helps fight seborrhoea and the dandruff that often forms after pruritus. It acts in synergy with zinc and sulphur amino acids.
As retinol: liver, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products.