Vitamin A as an anti-inflammatory agent

Ram Reifen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Vitamin A is necessary for normal differentiation of epithelial tissues, the visual process and reproduction, and is vital for the optimal maintenance and functioning of the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most profuse nutritional deficiencies worldwide. It is associated with increased susceptibility to infectious diseases in both man and animal models. Vitamin A also has a role as an anti-inflammatory agent. Supplementation with vitamin A has been found to be beneficial in a number of inflammatory conditions, including skin disorders such as acne vulgaris, broncho-pulmonary dysplasia and some forms of precancerous and cancer states. The present review suggests that vitamin A deficiency induces inflammation and aggravates existing inflammatory states. Supplementation with vitamin A in selected cases could ameliorate inflammation. The two main mechanisms which appear to be involved in the prevention of disease are the effects of vitamin A on the immune system and the effect on epithelial integrity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)397-400
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Inflammation
  • Vitamin A


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