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Vitamin A Deficiency Treatment & Management

  • Author: George Ansstas, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 10, 2014

Medical Care

See the list below:

  • In the United States, VAD can easily be prevented through the consumption of foods recommended in the Diet subsection.
  • Treatment for subclinical VAD includes the consumption of vitamin A–rich foods, such as liver, beef, chicken, eggs, fortified milk, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.
  • For VAD syndromes, treatment includes daily oral supplements, as follows:
    • Children aged 3 years or younger - 600 mcg (2000 IU)
    • Children aged 4-8 years - 900 mcg (3000 IU)
    • Children aged 9-13 years - 1700 mcg (5665 IU)
    • Children aged 14-18 years - 2800 mcg (9335 IU)
    • All adults - 3000 mcg (10,000 IU)
  • Therapeutic doses for severe disease include 60,000 mcg (200,000 IU), which has been shown to reduce child mortality rates by 35-70%.
  • A meta-analysis of 43 randomized controlled trials in low- to mid-income countries showed that vitamin A supplementation for children aged 6 months to 5 years reduced all-cause mortality by 24% and diarrhea-associated mortality by 28%.[23]


See the list below:

  • Consult endocrinologists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, nutritionists, infectious disease specialists, and dermatologists, as indicated.


See the list below:

  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from the US departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, recommend consumption of a variety of foods for a comprehensive nutrient intake.[24] Vitamin A – rich foods include the following[24, 25] :
    • Liver
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Eggs
    • Whole milk
    • Fortified milk
    • Carrots
    • Mangoes
    • Orange fruits
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Spinach, kale, and other green vegetables
  • Eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended in order to provide a comprehensive distribution of carotenoids.
  • A variety of foods, such as breakfast cereals, pastries, breads, crackers, and cereal grain bars, are often fortified with 10-15% of the RDA of vitamin A.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

George Ansstas, MD Instructor of Medicine, Attending Physician in Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant and Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine

George Ansstas, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Jigna Thakore, MD Fellow, Department of Gastroenterology, Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center

Jigna Thakore, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

N Gopalswamy, MD Chairman, Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology, Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP Professor of Endocrinology, Director of Training Program, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Strelitz Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders Institute, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Physicians, American Diabetes Association, Endocrine Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

George T Griffing, MD Professor Emeritus of Medicine, St Louis University School of Medicine

George T Griffing, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Society for Clinical Densitometry, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, American College of Medical Practice Executives, American Association for Physician Leadership, American College of Physicians, American Diabetes Association, American Federation for Medical Research, American Heart Association, Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research, Endocrine Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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