Protection of vitamin A status in Chinese children by a dietary intervention with vegetables

Guangwen Tang, Jian Qin, Shanming Hu, Lanying Hao, Qingmei Xu, Xiu Fang Gu, Carla R. Fjeld, Xiang Gao, Shi An Yin, Robert M. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A study of seasonal fluctuation of serum vitamin A concentrations in children in northern China showed that the prevalence of low serum levels of vitamin A was due to seasonal changes in the intakes of carotenoids. To determine whether plant carotenoids could sustain or improve children's vitamin A status during the fall and winter seasons, we performed an intervention with vegetables starting in the fall in Shandong, China. At a kindergarten, the serum vitamin A concentration was less than 1.05 μmol/L in 39% of the children. For five days per week for 10 weeks, 22 children were each provided with approximately 238 g/day of green and yellow vegetables and 34 g/day of light-coloured vegetables. Nineteen children maintained their customary dietary intake in the fall season, which included 56 g/day of green and yellow vegetables and 224 g/day of light-coloured vegetables. Vitamins A-d8 and A-d4 were given before and after the interventions, respectively, and their enrichments in the circulation were determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to investigate vitamin A body stores. The serum concentration of β-carotene improved in the group fed mainly green and yellow vegetables but decreased in the group fed mainly light-coloured vegetables. The serum concentration of retinol was sustained in the group fed mainly green and yellow vegetables but decreased in the group fed mainly light-coloured vegetables (p < .01). The isotope dilution tests confirmed that total body stores of vitamin A were sustained in the group fed mainly green and yellow vegetables but decreased by 27 μmol (7,700 μg), on average, per child in the group fed mainly light-coloured vegetables (p<.06). Dietary green and yellow vegetables can provide adequate vitamin A nutrition to kindergarten children and protect them from becoming vitamin A deficient during seasons when the provitamin A food source is limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages4
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Protection of vitamin A status in Chinese children by a dietary intervention with vegetables'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Tang, G., Qin, J., Hu, S., Hao, L., Xu, Q., Gu, X. F., Fjeld, C. R., Gao, X., Yin, S. A., & Russell, R. M. (2000). Protection of vitamin A status in Chinese children by a dietary intervention with vegetables. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 21(2), 161-164. https://doi.org/10.1177/156482650002100209