A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of 236 preschool children, age 3-6, in West Java, Indonesia, was carried out to assess the impact of vitamin A supplementation on hematological indicators of iron metabolism and nutritional status. Clinically normal children (n=118) were matched by age and sex with xerophthalmic children (n=118) and randomized to receive oral vitamin A, 60,000 μg retinol equivalent, or placebo, creating a total of four study groups. Vitamin A supplementation was associated with a large increase (14.9±15.6 μg/L) in plasma ferritin (p<0.0001), a moderate increase (30±34 mg/L) in plasma transthyretin (p<0.0001), and an increase in hemoglobin in children with low baseline hemoglobin (p<0.05). This study suggests that vitamin A supplementation helps mobilize hepatic stores of iron and may enhance hematopoiesis in children with vitamin A deficiency.
- Vitamin A
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics