Background: Low serum levels of dietary antioxidants are associated with allergic diseases including asthma. Vitamin A and carotenoids are dietary antioxidants that are likely to play an important role against airway inflammation.
Methods: This study included 433 asthmatic schoolchildren and 537 healthy control subjects, between 6 and 18 years of age. Serum beta-carotene, vitamin A, cholesterol, and triglycerides levels were studied in all subjects.
Results: Serum vitamin A concentration was significantly lower in asthmatic subjects than in healthy control subjects (19.4 +/- 1.1 mg/dL vs. 28.9 +/- 0.86 mg/dL) (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the levels of beta-carotene, cholesterol, and triglycerides between the two groups.
Conclusion: Reduction of vitamin A in asthmatic children may have etiological implications for the disease.