Journal Article

Brief report. Serum concentration of retinol, β-carotene, cholesterol, and triglycerides in Saudi school children

AM Al Senaidy

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 46, issue 3, pages 163-167
Published in print June 2000 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online June 2000 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/46.3.163
Brief report. Serum concentration of retinol, β-carotene, cholesterol, and triglycerides in Saudi school children

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Vitamin A and β-carotene are often considered as members of a family of antioxidant vitamins that can show protective effects against oxidative stress and some chronic diseases. Data on vitamin A and β-carotene status in Saudi children are sparse. In the current study the serum concentrations of retinol, β-carotene, cholesterol and triglycerides were determined in 500 healthy Saudi children aged 6 to more than 18 years. The study group consisted of 247 (49.4 per cent) females and 253 (50.6 per cent) males, living in the Riyadh area of Saudi Arabia. The serum retinol levels in all age groups were within the range reported from industrial countries and in all age groups the mean values were higher than the critical level of 0.2 μg/ml. No significant difference in serum retinol levels was observed between male and female subjects (p>0.05), but age was found to be an important covariant of the vitamin. The mean serum β-carotene concentration in all age groups was significantly higher than previously reported which may suggest an improvement in Saudi children's diets, notably in respect to fruit and vegetable intake. Females seemed to retain a higher level of β-carotene compared to males which confirmed earlier reports of a positive correlation between age and the β-carotene level in females. Only males in the age group 6-8.9 years old had a significantly higher level of β-carotene than their female counterparts; 11.95±5.85 μg/ml compared to 8.53±3.5 μg/ml (p<0.05).

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Subjects: Paediatrics

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