Vitamin A (VA) deficiency (VAD) continues to be a major nutritional problem in developing countries, including Central America. In Mexico, milk is a well-accepted vehicle for the administration of micronutrients, including VA, to preschoolers. Thus, we conducted a randomized, controlled, clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of daily consumption of 250 mL of VA-fortified milk (which provided 196 retinol equivalents/d) for 3 mo on VA stores in mildly to moderately VAD (serum retinol concentration 0.35-0.7 μmol/L) preschoolers who were not enrolled in a food assistance program. Twenty-seven mildly to moderately VAD children were randomly assigned based on screening measurements to either the intervention (n = 14) or control group (n = 13) (children in the control group did not receive placebo). All children in the control group and 79% (n = 11) of the children in the intervention group completed the study. The total body VA (TBVA) pool size was estimated using the deuterated retinol dilution technique before and after the intervention. After 3 mo, median changes in the serum retinol concentration for the intervention and control groups were 0.13 and 20.21 μmol/L, respectively (P = 0.009). Median changes in the TBVA stores were 0.06 and 0.01 μmol, respectively (P = 0.006) and estimated median changes in the liver VA concentration were 0.09 and 0.01 μmol/g, respectively (P = 0.002). The VA-fortified milk was well accepted among preschoolers and significantly increased TBVA stores, liver VA stores, and serum retinol concentration, indicating that it may be an effective means to ameliorate VAD in young Mexican children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics