The most serious effect of the lack of vitamin A is NIGHT BLINDNESS. Night blindness is the inability of a person to adjust to the changing intensity of light. Persons suffering from night blindness cannot see in dim light especially at night. The more serious stage of vitamin A deficiency, called xerophthalmia takes the from of drying of the eye membrane. This changes to keratomalacia a stage which leads to total blindness. Vitamin A is also associated with maintenance of epithelial tissue which lines nose, throat, bronchial tubes digestive track, bladder, kidneys and pelvic organs. In the absence of vitamin A these tissues become dry and rough.

So vitamin A deficiency cause night blindness, dry and scaly skin, defective tooth formation, retarded growth and lowered resistance to infection. The fact that vitamin A is soluble in fat and many Indian diets are poor in fat content, accounts for poor efficiency in the absorption of vitamin A by the body.

Shark liver oil and cod liver oil are rich sources of vitamin A. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and yellow vegetables and fruits such as carrot, mango, papaya are good sources of carotene which is converted to vitamin A inside the body. Milk, butter and ghee also contain vitamin A in them.