Miscellaneous Uses

Vitamin A and its retinoid analogues have gained popularity in the treatment of acne and other dermatologi-cal diseases (see Chapter 41).

Vitamin K supplements are given to neonates until normal intestinal bacteria that are capable of producing the vitamin develop.

Folic acid supplements are given to pregnant women to decrease the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Prenatal vitamin preparations that contain higher concentrations of folic acid must be dispensed under a health care worker's guidance because high folate intakes can mask the symptoms of pernicious anemia.

A study of the vitamins in neurocognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's disease have not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that vitamins play a role in the prevention of these diseases.

Clinical trials have also been conducted to study the effect of the antioxidants on the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and vision loss. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group recommends supplements of zinc and antioxidants for adults at risk for developing AMD. However, the group cautions about unknown long-term effects of high-dose supplementation.

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