The Instagram logo

Study looks at vitamin body-balance

Research from the University of Aberdeen has found evidence that the brain controls vitamin balance in the body.

Previously thought to be the duty of other organs in the body including the liver and kidneys, this is the first-time that scientists have identified a role for the brain in vitamin regulation which could have implications for diagnosis and treatment of vitamin-related diseases from anaemia to infertility to blindness.

In this study, the scientists looked at vitamin A and how the brain reacts to it. Vitamin A is essential for life but until now it was not known how it is maintained in the body.

The study was conducted initially on rats and found that a region of the brain called the hypothalamus may be responsible for controlling levels of vitamin A, possibly with top-down control of vitamin A function around the body.

Published in iScience, this is the first time that the hypothalamus, which regulates many body systems including temperature, appetite and thirst, has been implicated in the control of vitamins in the body.

A crucial balancing act is in place because vitamin A deficiency can lead to disastrous weakening of the immune system as well as vision and skin problems, and while excess vitamin A is less common, it can also lead to the same problems as well as swelling of the brain.

Read more Insights here...