Background: Vitamin A activity of plant provitamin A carotenoids is uncertain. Objective: The objective was to determine whether plant carotenoids can sustain or improve vitamin A nutrition during the fall season in kindergarten children in the Shandong province of China. Design: The serum vitamin A concentration of 39% of the children was < 1.05 μmol/L and of 61% of the children was ≥ 1.05 μmol/L. For 5 d/wk for 10 wk, 22 children were provided ≃238 g green-yellow vegetables/d and 34 g light-colored vegetables/d. Nineteen children maintained their customary dietary intake, which included 56 g green-yellow vegetables/d and 224 g light-colored vegetables/d. Octadeuterated and tetradeuterated vitamin A were given before and after the interventions, respectively, and their enrichments in the plasma were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Serum retinol and carotenoid concentrations were measured by HPLC. Results: Carotenoid nutrition improved after consumption of green-yellow vegetables. Serum concentrations of retinol were sustained in the group fed green-yellow vegetables but decreased in the group fed light-colored vegetables (P < 0.01). The isotope-dilution tests confirmed that total-body vitamin A stores were sustained ill the group fed green-yellow vegetables, but decreased 27 μmol (7700 μg retinol) per child, on average, in the group fed light- colored vegetables (P < 0.06). Conclusion: Green-yellow vegetables can provide adequate vitamin A nutrition in the diet of kindergarten children and protect them from becoming Vitamin A deficient during seasons when the provitamin A food source is limited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics