Iron metabolism and vitamin A deficiency in children in northeast Thailand

M. W. Bloem, M. Wedel, R. J. Egger, A. J. Speek, J. Schrijver, S. Saowakontha, W. H.P. Schreurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


To investigate the association between vitamin A and iron metabolism, two studies were carried out: a cross-sectional study and an intervention trial. The cross-sectional analysis was carried out in 1,060 children aged 1-8 yr. Multiple-regression analysis was used to adjust for effects of age, gender, indices of the protein nutritional status, and infections. Retinol was significantly associated with hematocrit, serum Fe, transferrin, and saturation of transferrin (%ST). To obtain further evidence as to whether this observed association is a causal one, an intervention trial was carried out. After collection of the baseline data of 300 children, 166 children with a hemoglobin concentration < 7.5 mmol/L were selected. A random subsample of 78 children received vitamin A capsules; the other children served as control subjects. Two months after supplementation significant differences, adjusted for age, were found for retinol, retinol-binding protein, serum Fe, and %ST between the supplemented and the control group. After 4 mo none of the indices were found to be significantly different between the supplemented and the control group. Periodic massive doses of vitamin A may play a role in improving the Fe status as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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