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Vitamin A as an Anti-Infective Agent


WHEN the fat-soluble vitamins were first differ entiated, it was soon recognised that animals maintained on synthetic purified rations deficient in fat-soluble A not only ceased to grow after a variable time, but also were very prone to develop various infections. One of the most obvious and common of these was an infection of the conjunctiva, which is known as xerophthalmia; hence the usual signs of vitamin A deficiency looked for were cessation of growth and this eye disease. When vitamin D was differentiated from vitamin A, the question arose as to whether the signs of fat-soluble vitamin deficiency were due to lack of vitamin A or vitamin D. It was found that both are necessary for proper growth; but except for some recent observations by Goldblatt and Benischek, the relationship between these vitamins and infective processes has not been fully worked out. The results of these authors suggested that vitamin A was the more closely related to the prevention of infection.

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Vitamin A as an Anti-Infective Agent. Nature 122, 750 (1928).

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