The Vitamin A (Retinol) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: This test will measure the amount of retinol in the blood. It can be used to determine if there is too much vitamin A or not enough vitamin A in the blood.
Also Known As: Retinol test
Collection Method: Blood draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: Overnight fasting is preferred
When is a Vitamin A test ordered?
When a person shows signs and symptoms that point to a vitamin A deficiency or is malnourished in general, a vitamin A test may be recommended. The following are some of the signs and symptoms:
- Blindness at night
- Eyes, skin, and hair that are dry
- Damage to and ulcers on the cornea
- Lesions and thickening of the skin
- On the lining of the eyes, there are grayish patches.
- Infections that recur
When a person has an illness that causes malabsorption of nutrients, testing may be done on a regular basis to check vitamin A status and ensure that the individual is getting enough vitamin A. Inadequate vitamin A absorption has been linked to the following diseases:
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn's disease
When a person exhibits signs and symptoms of vitamin A poisoning and their medical history is compatible with the ingestion of vitamin A-containing foods or supplements, testing may be undertaken. The following are some of the indications and symptoms of vitamin A toxicity:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Vision that is doubled or blurred
- Muscle ache
- Joint and bone discomfort
- Loss of weight
- Hair loss
- Dryness of the mucous membranes
- Dysfunction of the liver
- At the corners of the mouth, there are cracks
- Tongue inflammation
What does a Vitamin A blood test check for?
This test examines the amount of retinol in the blood; in animals, retinol is the most common form of vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for proper vision, skin growth and integrity, bone formation, immunological function, and embryonic development. It is essential for the production of photoreceptors in the eyes as well as the maintenance of the lining of the eye's surface and other mucous membranes. Vitamin A deficiency can impair night vision, induce eye damage, and even result in blindness in severe situations. Vitamin A excesses, whether acute or chronic, can be hazardous, resulting in a variety of symptoms and, in rare cases, birth abnormalities.
Vitamin A is not produced by the body, so it must be obtained from food. Vitamin A is found in meat, while carotene is found in vegetables and fruits. Vitamin A is stored in the liver and adipose tissues, with healthy people storing up to a year's worth. Through a feedback system that releases vitamin A from storage as needed and enhances or decreases the efficiency of dietary vitamin A absorption, the body maintains a reasonably steady concentration in the blood.
Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the United States, but it is a major health issue in many underdeveloped countries where people have poor diets. Night blindness is one of the first indicators of vitamin A insufficiency. The World Health Organization estimated that night blindness impacted as many as 5 million preschool age children and nearly 10 million pregnant women in a 1995-2005 study of the global incidence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk. In addition, they calculated that 190 million preschool children and 19 million pregnant women were at danger of vitamin A deficiency due to low retinol levels, which indicated a lack of vitamin A supply.
Deficits are most common among malnourished people, those with malabsorption disorders such celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, or chronic pancreatitis, the elderly, and those with alcoholism and liver disease in the United States.
Overuse of vitamin supplements is the leading cause of vitamin A toxicity. It can, however, happen when the diet contains a significant amount of vitamin A-rich foods, such as liver.
Lab tests often ordered with a Vitamin A test:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Iron Total
- Iron and TIBC
Conditions where a Vitamin A test is recommended:
- Celiac Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Liver Disease
How does my health care provider use a Vitamin A test?
Vitamin A testing is used to diagnose vitamin A deficiency in patients who have symptoms like night blindness or who have disorders that limit nutritional absorption in the intestine and are at risk of deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the United States, hence testing for this purpose is uncommon. Testing is sometimes performed to detect hazardous levels of vitamin A induced by ingesting high doses of the vitamin.
Vitamin A is necessary for proper vision, skin growth and integrity, bone formation, immunological function, and embryonic development. It is essential for the production of photoreceptors in the eyes as well as the maintenance of the lining of the eye's surface and other mucous membranes.
Vitamin A is not produced by the body, so it must be obtained from food. Vitamin A is found in meat, while carotene is found in vegetables and fruits. Vitamin A deficiency can impair night vision, induce eye damage, and even result in blindness in severe situations. Vitamin A excesses, whether acute or chronic, can be hazardous, resulting in a variety of symptoms and, in rare cases, birth abnormalities.
What do my Vitamin A test results mean?
A normal vitamin A blood level suggests that a person has enough vitamin A right now, but it doesn't tell you how much vitamin A is held in reserve. Until vitamin A stores are depleted, the body will keep vitamin A levels in the blood at a reasonably constant level.
A low vitamin A blood test result means that the person's reserves have been depleted and they are deficient.
A high vitamin A blood level implies that the body's ability to retain vitamin A has been exceeded, and that excess vitamin A is currently circulating in the bloodstream, where it may be deposited in other tissues, causing toxicity.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.