Providing vitamin A supplementation in countries where there is a deficiency of the vitamin has been proven to decrease mortality. As a result, most developing countries have adopted a standard WHO (World Health Organisation) dosing schedule for vitamin supplementation. However, in 2002, the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG) Annecy Accord recommended a new high-dose regimen for mothers and infants.
Professor Andrew Prentice, International Nutrition Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and colleagues studied 220 women-infants pairs in an area of moderate vitamin A deficiency in Gambia. One group received the WHO recommended dose, while the other received the IVACG recommended dose. Blood plasma levels of vitamin A, incidence of Helicobacter pylori infection, nasopharyngeal pneumococcal carriage, and infant guy epithelial integrity were all tested, and no significant differences were found between the two groups.
The authors conclude: “Our results do not lend support to the proposal to increase the existing WHO standard dosing schedule for vitamin A in areas of moderate vitamin A deficiency. Caution is urged for future studies because trials have shown possible adverse effects of higher doses of vitamin A, and potential negative interactions with the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI) vaccines.”
Both the Article and an accompanying Comment refer to previous studies in which vitamin A doses lower, rather than higher, than the WHO recommendation were trialled. The results suggested better or at least equal protection against mortality in young infants could be achieved with these lower doses.
The comment, by Professor Bernard Brabin, Child and Reproductive Health Group, Liverpool, UK and also Emma Kinderziekenhuis (Emma Children’s Hospital), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, says: “Further investigation of doses lower than the standard WHO dose and studies in areas with high vitamin A deficiency should be encouraged.”
It concludes: “Additionally, future trials should emphasise the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, because early feeding with formula milk might reduce potential benefits from early supplementation with vitamin A in infants.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine