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Vitamin A Metabolism: Challenges and Perspectives | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2376-1318

Vitamins & Minerals
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Vitamin A Metabolism: Challenges and Perspectives

Ouliana Ziouzenkova*
Department of Human Nutrition, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 43210, USA
Corresponding Author : Dr. Ouliana Ziouzenkova
PhD, Assistant Professor, Department Of Human Nutrition
Ohio State University, 1787 Neil Avenue
331A Campbell Hall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Tel: 614 292 5034
Fax: 614 292 8880
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 20, 2012; Accepted January 20, 2012; Published January 25, 2012
Citation: Ziouzenkova O (2012) Vitamin A Metabolism: Challenges and Perspectives. Vitamin Trace Element 1:e106. doi:10.4172/2376-1318.1000e106
Copyright: © 2012 Ziouzenkova O. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Vitamins set an unprecedented example of the essential environment-gene interactions that are necessary to sustain life. Seventeen Nobel prizes were awarded in the last century for discoveries related to vitamins’ structures, physiology, and functions [1]. These discoveries help to abolish diseases related to vitamin deficiencies in the developed world and offer solutions to eradicate these disorders worldwide [2]. For example, embryonic malformations, night blindness, and immune deficiency in children were effectively treated by vitamin A supplementation [2,3]. In spite of encouraging results in vitamin-deficient subjects, wide applications of vitamin supplements in the nutrient-sufficient populations have been partially discouraging. Many clinical and supplementation trials reported increased mortality in subjects on long-term lipophilic vitamin A and E supplementations [4,5]. Especially striking deleterious effects were reported for lipophilic vitamin A and provitamin A (β-carotene) [4,6]. The answer to safe application of lipophilic vitamins for the treatment and prevention of diseases may lie in the better understanding of their interaction with genes. There are two principal levels of lipophilic vitamin interactions with genes:

1) genes control metabolism of dietary vitamin into derivatives with hormone-like properties, and

2) vitamin-derived metabolites regulate specific gene programs through signaling and transcription pathways (Figure1).


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