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Newborn Deaths and Vitamin A

Vitamin A defiency can lead to increased deaths in children under six months of age. In this study infants in Nepal received 50,000 units of vitamin A at birth and had a 64 percent reduction in death rate. Investigators believed that the vitamin A may provide a stimulus to rapid maturation of both gut and lung lining. This matured lining may be more resistant to invasion by pathogens or may clear such organisms more efficiently.

When I spoke in LA two weeks ago, a woman came to the microphone to share that giving her child cod liver oil, which is chock full of natural vitamin A, saved her child's life. Her child had undergone a bone marrow transplant for the treatment of leukemia and had started to have a graft versus host reaction for which the doctors had no clue how to treat. But the perceptive mom started cod liver oil and the potentially fatal problem resolved.

One, of course, needs to be cautious of using cod liver oil for vitamin A in the summer as summer sun exposure will increase vitamin D and potentially cause toxic vitamin D levels. However, cod liver oil is a must-take supplement for just about everyone in the fall, winter and early spring.

British Medical Journal August 2, 2003;327:254 Full Text Article

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