Vitamin A intervention: Short-term effects of a single, oral, massive dose on iron metabolism

Martin W. Bloem, Michel Wedel, Eric J. Van Agtmaal, Andries J. Speek, Sastri Saowakontha, Wil H.P. Schreurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


A group of 134 school children aged 3-9 y, with signs of conjunctival xerosis, from the rural area of the Sakorn Nakhon province in Northeast Thailand were selected for a controlled study on the short-term effect (2 wk) of a single, oral high dose of vitamin A on iron metabolism. After collection of the baseline data, children within villages were randomly assigned to receive the capsules (n = 65) or serve as control subjects (n = 69). Two weeks after supplementation significant increases of retinol, retinol-binding protein, hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum iron, and saturation of transferrin were found in the supplemented group. Ferritin concentrations did not change significantly. These short-term changes completely exclude seasonal effects and change in morbidity. This study provides further evidence of a causal association between vitamin A and iron metabolism. In areas where vitamin A deficiency is endemic, periodic massive vitamin A dose programs can also improve iron status of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Iron
  • Northeast Thailand
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A supplementation
  • Vitamin A-iron interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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