Link Between Vitamin A & Obesity

Link Between Vitamin A & Obesity

How Does Obesity Effect Vitamin A?

So maybe you are wondering about why it is so dangerous to be overweight and obese; a recent study carried out has shown that obesity causes a vitamin A deficiency in the body by impairing its ability to use the vitamin A correctly.

Why is vitamin A so important? Vitamin A is considerably important as it ensures the efficient functioning of many systems in the body and a lack, therefore, can increase the risk of “respiratory infections, diabetes, infertility, and delayed growth and bone development”.

What is most surprising about this study is that the researchers concluded that even when vitamin A was being consumed at the average intake, due to the obesity, the body was not using the vitamin A appropriately.

In the study, which involved animals, the researchers labelled the type of vitamin A deficiency as ‘silent vitamin A deficiency’. It was labelled this due to the fact that a blood test would not pick it up, however, if one went to the organs, such as the liver, kidney and pancreas, one would find a vitamin A deficiency.

Thus, the findings, although conducted on animals, suggests that obesity in humans is also associated with these lower vitamin A levels and consequently humans would suffer the same health effects mentioned earlier.

In concluding the study’s findings, Dr Gudas from Weill Cornell Medicine, stated the following: “We know that obesity is associated with many illnesses, such as poor immune response and diabetes. What we don’t know is why. This gives us more information for understanding how the two go together, but many puzzles remain to be solved before we fully understand why obesity leads to less vitamin A in major organs of the body”.

So, while the exact reason why is not yet known, what is known is that this lack of vitamin A in the major organs is dangerous and unhealthy. Weight loss surgery, which would result in weight loss, would thereby counteract this, leading to a more efficient functioning of the body’s systems and functions due to the body using vitamin A correctly.

REF: Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr Steven Trasino

Dr Xiao-Han Tung

Dr Jose Jessurun

Dr Lorraine Gudas (Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and the Revlon Pharmaceutical Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Weill Cornell Medicine