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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Mar;50(3):309-15. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181a96489.

Effects of vitamin A supplementation on intestinal barrier function, growth, total parasitic, and specific Giardia spp infections in Brazilian children: a prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1INCT-Institute of Biomedicine, Clinical Research Unit, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. alima@ufc.br

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study evaluates the effects of retinol on intestinal barrier function, growth, total parasites, and Giardia spp infections in children in northeastern Brazil.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

The study was a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial (http://clinicaltrials.gov; register no. #NCT00133406) involving 79 children who received vitamin A 100,000-200,000 IU (n = 39) or placebo (n = 40) at enrollment, 4, and 8 months and were followed for 36 months. Intestinal barrier function was evaluated using the lactulose:mannitol ratio test. Stool lactoferrin was used as a marker for intestinal inflammation.

RESULTS:

The groups were similar with regard to age, sex, nutritional parameters (z scores), serum retinol concentrations, proportion of lactoferrin-positive stool samples, and intestinal barrier function. The lactulose:mannitol ratio did not change during the same time of follow-up (P > 0.05). The proportion of lactoferrin-positive samples evaluated at 1 month did not change between groups (P > 0.05). Total intestinal parasitic, specifically new, infections were significantly lower in the vitamin A treatment compared with control group; these were accounted for entirely by significantly fewer new Giardia infections in the vitamin A treatment group. The cumulative z scores for weight-for-length or height, length or height-for-age z scores, and weight-for-age did not change significantly with vitamin A intervention for 36 months of follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data showed that total parasitic infection and Giardia spp infections were significantly lower in the vitamin A treatment group when compared with the placebo group, suggesting that vitamin A improves the host's defenses against Giardia infections.

PMID:
20038852
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2830290
Free PMC Article
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