Vitamin A Can Be a Lifesaver

A good dose of vitamin A as a life-saving measure is recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Measles, a deadly viral disease characterized by skin eruptions, can be arrested with heavy doses of vitamin A.
A single dose of 200,000 units of Vitamin A, given upon diagnosis of measles, may spell the difference between life and death especially when the child has not been given measles vaccination.

The dosage for children below one year of age is slightly lower at 100,000 units. Children with obvious signs of vitamin A deficiency are given an even heavier dosage. The recommendation is for the single dose to be repeated the next day.

The occurrence of eruptions in measles patients appears to deplete their vitamin A reserves. Those already suffering from Vitamin A deficiency because of malnutrition run a greater risk of secondary infection; this condition may even threaten the patient’s life.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found especially in animal products such as egg yolk, milk, or fish liver oils. Lack of this vitamin causes the epithelial tissues of the body to become keratinous or horny. If this condition affects the eyes, visual defects occur.

© 2010 Athena Goodlight