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Alpha-tocopherol concentration in the colostrum of nursing women supplemented with retinyl palmitate and alpha-tocopherol

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Abstract Background: 

Vitamins A and E are recognisably important in the initial stages of life, and the newborn depends on nutritional adequacy of breast milk to meet their needs. These vitamins share routes of transport to the tissues and antagonistic effects have been observed in animals after supplementation with vitamin A. The present study aimed to determine the effect of maternal supplementation with a megadose of retinyl palmitate in the immediate post-partum on α-tocopherol concentration in the colostrum. Methods: 

Healthy parturient women at a Brazilian public maternity were recruited for the study and divided into two groups: control (n = 37) and supplemented (n = 36). Blood and colostrum samples were collected up to 16 h post-partum. The supplemented group was administered with a retinyl palmitate capsule and, 24 h after the first collection, the second colostrum sample was obtained in the two groups for analysis of α-tocopherol. The cut-off points for deficiency are <1.05 μmol L−1 for retinol and <11.6 μmol L−1 for α-tocopherol. Results: 

The mean (SD) serum concentration of 1.77 (0.50) μmol L−1 for retinol and 30.81 (6.46) μmol L−1 for α-tocopherol indicates an adequate biochemical status. The supplemented group showed an increase of α-tocopherol in the colostrum 24 h after supplementation (P = 0.04), and this finding was not observed in the control group. Conclusions: 

Supplementation with a 200 000 IU megadose of vitamin A did not negatively affect α-tocopherol levels in colostrum.
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Keywords: nutrient analysis; vitamin A; vitamins; women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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