Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
ROBLES-SARDIN, Alma E. et al. Effect of massive vitamin A supplement in children from 6 to 36 months of age. Salud pública Méx [online]. 1998, vol.40, n.4, pp.309-315. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36341998000400002.
Objective. To evaluate the impact of a single massive dose of vitamin A on the vitamin and iron status in children of margined urban areas in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Material and methods. A total of 60 children received one dose of 100 000 IU (children from 6 to 12 months) and of 200 000 IU (children from 12 to 36 months) of retinol palmitate distributed by the Health Ministry in June, 1994. Serum levels of retinol, carotenoids, iron, transferrin and ferritin were measured at three periods: basal, after two weeks and after three months. Results. The mean for retinol basal values was 0.7 µmol/l, after two weeks it was 0.97 µmol/l (p <0.001) and after three months it was 0.83 µmol/l (p >0.05). When basal values were measured, 6.3% of the children showed severe vitamin A deficiency, which disappeared in the periods following the supplement; additionally, 42% showed moderate deficiency which had decreased to less than 7% after three months. No differences were found for serum iron and transferrin levels (p >0.05), however, ferritin levels increased (p <0.001) after three months indicating an improvement in iron reserves. Conclusions. Massive dose distribution may have an important impact on vitamin A and iron status in children.
Keywords : vitamin A deficiency; nutritional status; supplementary feeding; Mexico.