Vitamin A supplementation selectively improves the linear growth of indonesian preschool children: results from a randomized controlled trial

Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):507-13. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/71.2.507.

Abstract

Background: Vitamin A deficiency is associated with stunting and wasting in preschool children, but vitamin A supplementation trials have not shown a consistent effect on growth.

Objective: We examined the effect of vitamin A supplementation on height and weight increments among Indonesian preschool children.

Design: Data were obtained from a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial of rural Javanese children aged 6-48 mo. Children received 206000 IU vitamin A (103000 IU if aged <12 mo) or placebo every 4 mo.

Results: High-dose vitamin A supplementation modestly improved the linear growth of the children by 0.16 cm/4 mo. The effect was modified by age, initial vitamin A status, and breast-feeding status. Vitamin A supplementation improved height by 0.10 cm/4 mo in children aged <24 mo and by 0.22 cm/4 mo in children aged >/=24 mo. The vitamin A-supplemented children with an initial serum retinol concentration <0.35 micromol/L gained 0.39 cm/4 mo more in height and 152 g/4 mo more in weight than did the placebo group. No growth response to vitamin A was found among children with an initial serum retinol concentration >/=0.35 micromol/L. In non-breast-fed children, vitamin A supplementation improved height by 0.21 cm/4 mo regardless of age. In breast-fed children, vitamin A supplementation improved linear growth by approximately 0.21 cm/4 mo among children aged >/=24 mo, but had no significant effect on the growth of children aged <24 mo.

Conclusion: High-dose vitamin A supplementation improves the linear growth of children with very low serum retinol and the effect is modified by age and breast-feeding.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Body Height / drug effects
  • Body Height / ethnology
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Growth / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Vitamin A / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Vitamin A