Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 03:06 PM EDT

Vitamin A Deficiency: Harmful To Blood Stem Cells, Can Impair Immune System

May 08, 2017 03:44 AM EDT

Study Shows Vitamin A Deficiency Detrimental To Stem Cells
(Photo : Wochit News / YouTube) According to a new study from the German Cancer Research Center, deficiencies in vitamin A can be detrimental to blood stem cells. These specialized cells in the skin, gut, or blood have a relatively short lifespan and require constant replenishment. In 2008, researchers discovered a group of special stem cells in the bone marrow that remain dormant most of the time and only become active to fight bacterial or viral infections, heavy blood loss or as a reaction to chemotherapy. Researchers have now identified the mechanisms that activate and deactivate the stem cells. Results showed that retinoic acid, a vitamin A metabolite crucial to the process. Researchers hope the findings will play a role in cancer treatments because cancer cells, like stem cells, rest in a state of dormancy and their metabolism is completely shut down, rendering them resistant to chemotherapy.

A new research which has been conducted at the German Cancer Research Center has revealed that Vitamin A deficiency can be detrimental to the blood stem cells. In 2008, scientists found a gathering of extraordinary undeveloped cells in the bone marrow that stay lethargic more often and just become inactive form noticeably dynamic to battle bacterial or viral contaminations, overwhelming heavy blood loss or as a response to chemotherapy. At the point when their work is done, the body sends its most potent stem cells once again into lethargy.

According to Science Daily, at present time the researchers have identified the mechanisms which are responsible for activating and deactivating stem cells. Within this study only, it has also been found that Vitamin A deficiency can be harmful to the blood stem cells. Till now, the mechanisms which were responsible for activating the special stem cells or making them go back to sleep after their work is done was unknown.

In the study of Vitamin A deficiency affecting the blood stem cells, a retinoic acid which is a vitamin A metabolite has been identified as a crucial factor in the process. The result of the study showed that if retinoic acid is absent, then it will be unable for the stem cells to return to a dormant stage and get matured into specialized blood cells.

Medical Dialogues reported that the study of Vitamin A deficiency affecting the blood stem cells was carried out on specially bred mice. The dormant cell of the mice was green fluorescent. "If we feed these mice on a vitamin A-deficient diet for some time, this leads to a loss of the stem cells. Thus, we can prove for the first time that vitamin A has a direct impact on blood stem cells," Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid, first author of the study said.

This study results not only gives a clear explanation for the development of blood cells, but it also highlights that vitamin A deficiency can impair the immune system. Therefore it is very much important for having a balanced diet with vitamin A sufficiently.

With this study of Vitamin A deficiency, the scientists have now new hopes for any new prospects in the treatment of cancer, which is one of the dreadful diseases in the world. There is proof that cancer cells, as solid immature microorganisms, likewise rest in a condition of lethargy. Whenever lethargic, their metabolism is totally closed down - and this makes them impervious to chemotherapy.

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