Vitamin A---Sheri Taken from HEALTHY TALK "magazine"...
"Vitamin A is absolutely essential to proper immune function. Vitamin A deficient individuals are more susceptible to infectious diseases in general, but especially viral infections. While vitamin A deficiency may predispose an individual to an infection, during the course of an infection vitamin A stores typically plummet.
Vitamin A deficiency is a major problem in many developing countries as
5-10 million children in these countries exhibit severe Vitamin A deficiency. Recently, a number of well-designed studies have confirmed an effect first noted in 1932-Vitamin A supplementation can significantly reduce infant mortality among measles patients by at least 50%, Typically the dosage of Vitamin A in double blind studies has been 200,000 to 400,00 IU administered only once or twice to replenish body stores.
Vitamin A supplementation in the treatment of measles is indicated in children in the United States as well as third world countries. A study of "well nourished" children in Long Beach, California suffering from measles, indicated that 50% were deficient in Vitamin A.
Vitamin A therapy appears appropriate for other childhood viral illnesses as well. One of the more common viruses nowadays is the respitory syncytial virus (RSV), a common cause of severe respitory disease in young children.
Studies have shown children with RSV have low serum Vitamin A levels.
(Suzan's comment: I noticed that many of my friend's children came down with RSV DAYS
after being vaccinated with DPT...more than half of the children were hospitalized...NONE
of my friends, who have chosen NOT to vaccinate their children, have seen this infection
in their home. I believe this infection is almost entirely related to vaccination which
results in depleted Vit. A stores...rendering the child more susceptible to infections
such as RSV.) Furthermore, the lower the Vitamin A level the greater the severty of the
disease, similar to the relationship shown in measles.
Because Vitamin A supplementation diminishes the morbidity and death caused by measles, a group of researchers decided to determine Vitamin A's safety and absorption pattern in RSV as a first step in determining its therapeutic effectiveness.
Twenty-one children with a mean age of 2.3 months (range, 1 to 6 months) with mild RSV infection were treated with 12,500 to 25,000 IU of oral micellized Vitamin A. Baseline Vitamin A levels were shown to be low, but within 6 hours after receiving a minimum of 25,000 IU, of Vitamin A, normal levels were re-established. Despite the young age, none of the children experienced any obvious signs or symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity. Although the study was not designed as a therapeutic trial, the subjects receiving Vitamin A had hospital stays that were shorter than those of children with a similar severity of illness who were not enrolled in the study.
Placebo controlled trials are necessary to determine the true effectiveness of Vitamin A in RSV infection. Vitamin A supplementation is an attractive treatment of RSV infections for many reasons, including its low cost, wide availability, and ease of administration.
During an acute viral infection, a single oral dosage of 50,000 IU for one or two days appears to be safe even in infants (Note: women who might be pregnant must not use Vitamin A supplements, beta-carotene is fine.)"