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Open Access Vitamin A requirements of infants under six months of age

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Infants are born with negligible liver stores of vitamin A. To enable some storage of the vitamin, the infant needs to be predominantly breastfed with milk containing at least 30 μg/dl. Where vitamin A in breastmilk is low, maternal supplementation with a single postpartum high dose increases milk vitamin A for three to eight months. The current cutoff levels for serum retinol and the modified relative dose response (MRDR) ratio probably need to be revised for young infants. Kinetic analyses of infants' retention of vitamin A from breastmilk and supplements indicate that the doses of vitamin A given with immunizations in the World Health Organization (WHO) multicenter trial were inadequate to maintain adequate normal stores for more than a few months. The recommendation to double the doses currently given to mothers and infants in the Expanded Program in Immunization should prevent the depletion of liver vitamin A stores for most of the first year of life.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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