This contribution has been compiled under rather unusual circumstances. It has been proceeding at the same time as preparations or publishing a third edition of the SIGHT AND LIFE Manual on Vitamin A Deficiency Disorders. The previous edition came out in 2001 and was written more than five years ago. An enormous volume of papers has appeared in this time and after preliminary
selection there have been over five hundred to give careful consideration to for their relevance and significance for inclusion. Three meetings of IVACG in this time have contributed significantly to the advancement of many areas in this field. In particular, great strides have been made in our understanding of such areas as 1) the functions of vitamin A, in the form of etinoic acid, in many organs of the body; 2) the bioefficacy and bioavailability of provitamin A carotenoids; 3)the interactions of vitamin A andother micronutrients; 4) the role of vitamin A in a wide variety of infectious diseases and different aspects of the immune process; and 5) an ever increasing understanding ofthe many different interventions by which VADD may be brought under control. All of these topics and many others need to be given appropriate place in any up-to-date treatment of the overall subject.
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