Document Detail

Single megadose vitamin A supplementation of Indian mothers and morbidity in breastfed young infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12897218     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: In developing countries low maternal vitamin A stores combined with increased demands of pregnancy and lactation may lead to its deficiency in breastfed infants. This study evaluates the effects of maternal supplementation with a high dose of vitamin A on the serum retinol levels of exclusively breastfed infants, and their morbidity in the first six months of life. SETTING: Hospital based. STUDY DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Mothers of the test group (n=150) were orally supplemented with a single dose of retinol (209 micro mol) soon after delivery and were advised exclusive breastfeeding for six months. Before supplementation retinol levels were estimated in the mothers' and newborns' blood, and in colostrum. On follow up, breastmilk and infants' serum retinol contents were assessed monthly for six months. Retinol level <0.7 micro mol/l indicated vitamin A deficiency. Morbidity patterns like vitamin A deficiency, diarrhoea, febrile illnesses, acute respiratory infection, measles, and ear infection were also studied and compared between the two groups. RESULTS: Presupplement mean maternal serum retinol levels were 0.98 and 0.92 micro mol/l and mean breastmilk levels were 3.85 and 3.92 micro mol/l in the test and control groups respectively (p>0.05). Mean cord blood retinol levels were also comparable (0.68 v 0.64 micro mol/l). After supplementation, the test group showed a rise in mean breastmilk retinol content (12.08 v 2.96 micro mol/l) which remained significantly higher for four months. The infants' mean serum retinol level, initially 322.06% of the baseline value, was significantly higher for five months. In the control group, significant numbers of mothers and infants showed deficient breastmilk and serum retinol throughout the follow up (p<0.01). Decreased incidence and duration of various diseases were also found in the test group suggesting lesser morbidity. CONCLUSION: Maternal supplementation with single megadose vitamin A is an effective strategy for vitamin A prophylaxis of exclusively breastfed infants of 0-6 months.
S Basu; B Sengupta; P K Roy Paladhi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Postgraduate medical journal     Volume:  79     ISSN:  0032-5473     ISO Abbreviation:  Postgrad Med J     Publication Date:  2003 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-08-04     Completed Date:  2003-10-09     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0234135     Medline TA:  Postgrad Med J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  397-402     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pediatrics, NRS Medical College and Hospitals, Calcutta, West Bengal, India.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Oral
Breast Feeding*
Dietary Supplements
Infant, Newborn
Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
Milk, Human / chemistry
Prospective Studies
Urban Health
Vitamin A / administration & dosage*,  blood
Vitamin A Deficiency / prevention & control*
Reg. No./Substance:
11103-57-4/Vitamin A

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