Vitamin A in pregnancy: Impact on maternal and neonatal health
Authors: Dibley, Michael J.; Jeacocke, David A.
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 22, Number 3, September 2001 , pp. 267-284(18)
Abstract:Vitamin A is an essential nutrient, for which there is a slightly increased requirement during the third trimester of pregnancy, with even greater requirements for lactating women. Serum retinol levels decline during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, followed by a rapid increase postpartum. Hemodilution and inadequate nutritional status contribute to this pattern. Night-blindness is more common in the third trimester of pregnancy, and night-blind pregnant women have lower mean serum retinol concentrations. Increased morbidity is associated with night-blindness in women, especially during pregnancy. Vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy in deficient populations reduces night-blindness, low serum retinol levels, and nutritional anemia during pregnancy and substantially reduces maternal postpartum infections. A substantial reduction in maternal mortality has been observed in malnourished vitamin A–deficient women following vitamin A or β-carotene supplementation. Infant cord blood retinol and birthweight appear to be resistant to maternal supplementation with vitamin A during pregnancy. No studies have reported an impact of maternal vitamin A supplementation on neonatal morbidity or mortality.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2001
- 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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