Journal Article

Vitamin A Status and Nutritional Intake of Carotenoids of Preschool Children in Ijaye Orile Community in Nigeria

O. O. Oso, P. O. Abiodun, O. O. Omotade and D. Oyewole

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 49, issue 1, pages 42-47
Published in print February 2003 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online February 2003 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/49.1.42
Vitamin A Status and Nutritional Intake of Carotenoids of Preschool Children in Ijaye Orile Community in Nigeria

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This study was carried out to determine the vitamin A status and nutritional intake of carotenoids of 213 children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years in a rural community in Nigeria. There were 109 males and 104 females.A total of 57 (26.8 per cent) children were deficient in serum retinol levels (< 10 µg/dl) while 102 (47.9 per cent) had low levels (10–19 µg/dl). The highest prevalence of serum retinol deficiency was in the 6–12 months age group, most of whom were breastfeeding and there was poor correlation between duration of breastfeeding and serum retinol levels. The prevalence of night‐blindness was 1.5 per cent; however, none of the children had xerophthalmia. Chronically malnourished children had lower mean serum retinol levels than well nourished children. There was a high consumption of carotenoid‐containing food, but despite this there was a high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency. We therefore suggest that measures to combat vitamin A deficiency should include vitamin A supplementation on a short‐term basis. On a long‐term basis parents should be educated on the importance of the consumption of locally available sources of provitamin A and pre‐formed vitamin A rich foods, and the avoidance of overcooking. Parents should also be encouraged to grow more β‐carotene containing foods.

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Subjects: Paediatrics

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