Vitamin deficiencies are quite common in the U.S., but in under-developed nations they can be rampant, especially in regions where agriculture is scarce and a wide variety of foods is not readily available. Having low vitamin levels can be dangerous, particularly for growing children. However, a new report has suggested that vitamin supplements may preserve many young lives worldwide.
A study published in the British Medical Journal estimated that nearly 200 million children are vitamin A-deficient globally. Its authors, a group of public health experts from Pakistan and the UK, searched through prior studies and found that vitamin supplements containing vitamin A can reduce pediatric mortality by 24 percent in developing nations.
Given the number of children who are vitamin-deficient around the world, vitamin A supplementation could save 600,000 young lives every year, the group stated.
Taking vitamin A reduces the risk of disability caused by diarrhea, the measles and other serious health conditions. Consumed at any age, vitamin A supplements may improve well-being.
The U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements notes that vitamin A contributes to good vision, healthy mucous membranes and steady cell turnover.