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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611

Nutr. Hosp. vol.27 no.6 Madrid nov./dic. 2012

http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2012.27.6.6141 

CARTAS CIENTÍFICAS

 

The effect of vitamin A supplementation on retinol concentrations of children with anaemia

El efecto de suplementos de vitamina A en las concentraciones de retinol de niños con anemia

 

 

Correspondence

 

 

Iron deficiency seems to impair vitamin A metabolism leading to an increase in retinol sequestration to the liver and/or impairment in the activity of hepatic retinyl ester hydrolases, decreasing vitamin A mobilization and blood concentration.1 Such observations led to speculations regarding the efficacy of vitamin A supplementation in regions where iron deficiency coexist. In Brazil, a risk country for subclinical vitamin A deficiency -VAD, the Health Ministry implemented a supplementation programme- administration of mega doses of vitamin A (200,000 IU) to children ages 6 months-5 years in underprivileged regions.2 This study aimed to evaluate the impact of vitamin A supplementation on anaemia of VAD children, 36-83 months, from Teresina city, Brazil. Excluded from the study were children who had received transfusions of blood/blood derivatives and iron and/or vitamin A supplements in the last 6 months, children under immunosuppressive or corticosteroid therapy, and with HIV infection, chronic diseases or severe infection. An adequate zinc status was inclusion criteria, according to serum zinc (atomic absorption spectrophotometry) and alkaline phosphatase (fluorescence) concentrations. Serum retinol, ferritin and haemoglobin-Hb were determined by HPLC, chemiluminescence and a haematological analyzer, respectively. The children received 200 000IU of vitamin A, and after two months, vitamin A concentration was determined again. The cut off points used to identify deficiencies were: retinol < 0.70 μmol/L; Hb < 110 g/L; ferritin < 12 g/dL. Difference between means was tested by the Mann-Whitney test, and correlations were determined by the Spearman's correlation coefficient. Forty eight children with VAD were included in the study; 60.42% of them were boys. Mean (SD) concentrations of retinol and Hb before supplementation were 0.52 (0.13) μmol/L and 113.42 (15.04) g/L, respectively, without difference between gender. Concomitant vitamin A deficiency and anaemia were observed in 25% of the children, reinforcing the knowledge that iron and vitamin A deficiencies are important nutritional problems in Brazil.3 After supplementation all children reached acceptable/normal retinol concentrations [1.82 (0.82) μmol/L]. Retinol concentrations before, after and after/before difference was similar in children with and without anaemia (table I). The increase of retinol concentrations after supplementation suggests the efficacy of the intervention in the recovery of this vitamin deficiency, as reported in another study,4 independent of anaemia. A study involving rats supplemented with iron and vitamin A showed a significant increase in retinol concentrations of those rats compared to controls.5 Despite the limitations of our study, it confirms the efficacy of vitamin A supplementation in populations with adequate zinc status and high prevalence of anaemia.

 

 

A. A. Paiva1, P. H. C. Rondo2, L. G. C. Reinaldo3, D. F. Pedraza4 and M. Ruz5
1Department of Nutrition. Federal University of Piaui. Piaui, Brazil
2Department of Nutrition. School of Public Health. University of São Paulo. São Paulo, Brazil
3General Hospital of Promorar. Piaui, Brazil
4Centre of Epidemiological Studies and Research. State University of Paraiba. Paraíba, Brazil
5Department of Nutrition. Faculty of Medicine. University of Chile. Santiago, Chile

 

References

1. Oliveira JM, Michelazzo FB, Stefanello J, Rondó PHC. Influence of iron on vitamin A nutritional status. Nutr Rev 2008; 66 (3): 141-147.         [ Links ]

2. Martins MC, Santos LMP, Santos SMC, Araújo MPN, Lima AMP, Santana LAA. Avaliação de políticas públicas de segurança alimentar e combate à fome no período 1995-2002. 3 - O Programa Nacional de Controle da Deficiência de Vitamina A. Cadernos de Saúde Pública 2007; 23 (9): 2081-2093.         [ Links ]

3. Ferraz IS, Daneluzzi JC, Vannucchi H, et al. Prevalência da carência de ferro e sua associação com a deficiência de vitamina A em pré-escolares. J Pediatr 2005; 81: 169-174.         [ Links ]

4. Imdad A, Yakoob MY, Sudfeld C, Haider BA, Black RE, Bhutta ZA. Impact of vitamin A supplementation on infant and childhood mortality. BMC Public Health 2011; Suppl. 3: S20.         [ Links ]

5. Ameny MA, Raila J, Walzel E, Schweigert FJ. Effect of iron and/or vitamin A re-supplementation on vitamin A and iron status of rats after a dietary deficiency of both components. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2002; 16: 175-178.         [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
Adriana de Azevedo Paiva
Department of Nutrition.
Federal University of Piaui
Rua Professor Pires Gayoso,
n.o 144, Bairro dos Noivos
CEP 64046-350 Teresina, Piaui. Brazil
E-mail: aapaiva@ufpi.edu.br

Recibido: 11-VI-2012
1.a Revisión: 30-VIII-2012
Aceptado: 2-IX-2012

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