Evaluation of the effect of vitamin A-fortified margarine on the vitamin A status of preschool Filipino children

F. S. Solon, M. S. Solon, H. Mehansho, K. P. West, J. Sarol, C. Perfecto, T. Nano, L. Sanchez, M. Isleta, E. Wasantwisut, A. Sommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study assessed the effects of consuming a highly hydrogenated, vitamin A (VA)-fortified margarine not requiring refrigeration on VA status of preschool children. Design: A double-masked randomized community trial. Setting: Six rural villages in Cavite, Southern Luzon, the Philippines. Subjects: 296 and 285 children 3-6 y of age in the VA-fortified (experimental) and non-fortified (control) margarine groups, respectively. Intervention: Each week for 6 months households were given 250 g of VA-fortified margarine [providing 28.8 μg retinol equivalents (RE) per g] or non-fortified (0 μg RE) margarine of identical appearance for each enrolled child. Children's vitamin A status [serum retinol, xerophthalmia, and conjunctival impression cytology (CIC) status] and dietary intake were assessed at baseline and folloiv-up; margarine intake was monitored throughout the study. Results: Daily margarine intake per child averaged 27 g in the experimental group (providing 776 μg RE) and 24 g (0 μg RE) in the control group. After 6 months, mean serum retinol increased from 26.4 to 28.8 μg/dl in the experimental group but decreased from 26.6 to 25.1 μg/dl in controls (P < 0.001 at 6 months); the multiple-adjusted increment over controls was 2.4 μg/dl (P < 0.01). More importantly, the prevalence of low serum retinol (< 20 μg/dl) decreased from 25.7 to 10.1% in the experimental group but remained unchanged in controls (26.7 to 27.7%) (P < 0.01 at 6 months). At follow-up no experimental children had developed xerophthalmia but 1.4 and 1.8% of controls developed nightblindness and Bitot's spots, respectively. There were no differences in CIC between groups. Conclusion: Consumption of VA-fortified margarine significantly improved VA status of preschool Filipino children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-723
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume50
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996

Keywords

  • Serum retinol
  • Vitamin A fortification
  • Xerophthalmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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