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Unilateral diet: boy almost blind due to vitamin A deficiency
A 14-year-old boy from the United States almost lost sight of his one-sided diet. The teenager almost only consumed bread, cola, chicken and potatoes and therefore suffered from a vitamin A deficiency.
Bad consequences for eyesight
It has long been known that diet can also affect our eyesight. For example, high vitamin C intake offers protection against cataracts, as British scientists recently reported. Vitamin A is also important. This does not improve the eyes, but according to health experts, a deficiency can have serious consequences for eyesight. So also with a 14-year-old boy from the USA.
Only eaten bread, cola, chicken and potatoes
According to a report in the British Daily Mail, the little Cian Moore from the USA has been eating almost exclusively bread, cola, chicken and potatoes since he was five years old. This malnutrition led to the vitamin deficiency, which almost cost him eyesight.
The boy started to go blind. The doctors didn't know why for a long time. When Cian's mother saw a program about a doctor from Australia who saved half-blind children, she flew to Sydney with her son.
Vitamin A deficiency damages cells in the eye
The doctor, Professor Watson, chair of the Australian and New Zealand Ophthalmologists Association, then made the startling diagnosis: The boy suffered from a vitamin A deficiency that damaged the cells in the eye so severely that he had lost part of his eyesight. "We need a certain amount of vitamin A, without which the cells do not mature normally," said the expert in a report from the "Sydney Morning Herald".
Deficiency through one-sided nutrition
Vitamin A is an important component of the visual pigment rhodopsin. It is used to maintain the normal cell structure of the cornea. Since vegetables such as carrots contain a lot of the vitamin, they are good for the eyes.
A vitamin A deficiency can arise, among other things, from a one-sided diet or from diarrhea.
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common reasons for blindness worldwide. According to experts, between 250,000 and 500,000 small children go blind every year in developing countries because of a vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A intake too high
However, you can also get too much of the vitamin. Last year, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) warned against an excessive intake of vitamin A via cosmetic products. According to this, an excessive intake of vitamin A can lead to headaches and nausea, with a chronically high intake even liver diseases and scaling of the skin. Therefore, the additional intake by cosmetics with vitamin A should be limited.
Eye damage remains forever
The 16-year-old Cian initially consumed high doses of vitamin A and then started drinking vitamin shakes. He now also eats vegetables. The eyesight on his right eye has stabilized, but the damage on the left remains. He will have to live with the loss of his eyesight for the rest of his life. (ad)