Background: Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient with important roles in immunity and maintenance of normal epithelial cell differentiation. Little information is available regarding the relationship between vitamin A concentrations and asthma despite the repair of epithelial and other structural changes being of utmost importance for the relief of symptoms and control of the disease. The authors evaluated vitamin A and vitamin E concentrations in well-nourished children with asthma.
Methods: The serum vitamin A and vitamin E concentrations were measured by high performance liquid chromatography methods. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann-Whitney U-test and Peason's correlation coefficient test.
Results: According to these methods, the mean serum vitamin A concentrations were significantly lower (19.41+/-7.45 microg/dL, mean+/-SD) in asthmatic children than controls (29.52+/-11.34 microg/dL, P=0.0001). To compare the correlation of C-reactive protein and serum vitamin A concentrations, there was also significant difference between the two groups.
Conclusion: The data suggest that there is a correlation between vitamin A deficiency and the mechanism of asthmatic response. These data support that the mechanism of hypovitaminosis A in asthmatic children may involve not only the acute phase response but also the various degrees of chronic epitherial damage of airways.