Vitamin A is an antioxidant and activator of peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptors (PPARs). The target genes of PPARs are known to participate in fatty acid uptake, binding, oxidation and transport.
In collaboration with Dr Ram Reifen at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, we have investigated the effect of vitamin A deprivation on membrane DHA levels in experimental animals. The study demonstrates that membrane DHA is reduced by vitamin A deficiency. DHA is vital for the structure and function of visual and neural systems. Our finding will be relevant to nutritional management of vitamin A-deficient communities.
Zhou D, Ghebremeskel K, Crawford MA, Reifen R (2008) Chapter 11. The effect of vitamin A deficiency and inflammation on long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in rat colon and liver membranes. In: Malnutrition Research Advances, Editor: Vesler LW. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., p183-212
Zhou D, Ghebremeskel K, Crawford MA, Reifen R (2006), Vitamin A deficiency enhances liver and colon membrane docosahexaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids in rats fed alpha-linolenic acid adequate diet. Lipids 41(3):213-219.
Zhou D, Zaiger G, Ghebremeskel K, Crawford MA, Reifen R (2004), Vitamin A deficiency reduces liver and colon docosahexaenoic acid levels in rats fed high linoleic and low alpha-linolenic acid diet. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 71:383-389.
Uritski R, Barshack I, Bilkis I, Ghebremeskel K, Reifen R (2004), Dietary iron affects the inflammatory status of colitis. J Nutr 2004; 134(9): 2251-2255.
Reifen R, Nur T, Ghebremeskel K, Zaiger G, Urizky R and Pines M (2002), Vitamin A deficiency exacerbates inflammation in a rat model of colitis through activation of nuclear factor-kB and collagen formation. J Nutr 132: 2743-2747.