Vitamin A is a crucial micronutrient for pregnant women and their fetuses. In addition to being essential for morphological and functional development and for ocular integrity, vitamin A exerts systemic effects on several fetal organs and on the fetal skeleton. Vitamin A requirements during pregnancy are therefore greater. Vitamin A deficiency VAD remains the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. VAD in pregnant women is a public health issue in most developing countries. In contrast, in some developed countries, excessive vitamin A intake during pregnancy can be a concern since, when in excess, this micronutrient may exert teratogenic effects in the first 60 days following conception. Routine prenatal vitamin A supplementation for the prevention of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality is not recommended; however, in regions where VAD is a public health issue, vitamin A supplementation is recommended to prevent night blindness. Given the importance of this topic and the lack of a complete, up-to-date review on vitamin A and pregnancy, an extensive review of the literature was conducted to identify conflicting or incomplete data on the topic as well as any gaps in existing data.
Recommendations and report from a consultation. This review focuses on the metabolism and functions of vitamin A during the periconceptional period, pregnancy, and early childhood. Brazilian buriti Mauritia vinifera and palm oil Elaeis guineensis represent the richest sources of provitamin A in Brazil [ 21 ].
Vitamin A is important for visual health, immune function and fetal growth and development. Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in many parts of the world, particularly Africa and South-East Asia. It can cause visual impairment in the form of night blindness and, in children, may increase the risk of illness and death from childhood infections, including measles and those causing diarrhoea. Although pregnant women are susceptible to vitamin A deficiency throughout gestation, susceptibility is at its highest during the third trimester of pregnancy due to accelerated fetal development and the physiological increase in blood volume during this period. While there is some indication that low doses of vitamin A supplements given to pregnant women on a daily or weekly basis, starting in the second or third trimester, can reduce the severity of decline in maternal serum retinol levels during late pregnancy and the symptoms of night blindness, current evidence indicates that vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of illness or death in mothers or their infants.
Jump to navigation. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found in liver, kidney, eggs, and dairy produce. Low dietary fat intake or intestinal infections may interfere with the absorption of vitamin A. Natural retinoids are required for a wide range of biological processes including vision, immune function, bone metabolism and blood production. In pregnancy, extra vitamin A may be required. Currently, the World Health Organization WHO and other international agencies recommend routine vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy or at any time during lactation in areas with endemic vitamin A deficiency where night blindness occurs. It has been suggested that a low intake of vitamin A may be associated with complications in pregnancy such as death of the mother or baby, increased infections for the mother or baby, low iron level for the mother or baby or having a baby with any of the following complications: early delivery, low birthweight or a congential abnormality. This review included 19 studies involving over , women. The overall risk of bias was low to unclear in most of the trials, and the body of evidence was moderate to high quality.