Yet another reason to break out that sweet potato and kale recipe: vitamin A–rich foods may help manage childhood retinitis pigmentosa (RP), according to new research out of Harvard medical school.

More accurately, the study looked at vitamin A supplementation in 55 children with different genetic types of typical RP over the course of 40 years. Weighed against a control cohort, the research confirmed a slower mean rate of loss of cone electroretinogram amplitude in children who used vitamin A. The supplements appeared to have some sort of a protective factor.  

This type of supplementation can potentially slow loss of retinal function in adults with RP, as long as they have normal liver function, but until now, little pediatric data has been available. The research, published in JAMA Ophthalmology in May, aimed to understand the impact of vitamin A palmitate on developing eyes.

Berson E, Weigel-DiFranco C, Rosner B, et al. Association of vitamin A supplementation with disease course in children with retinitis pigmentosa. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(5):490-5.