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Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Apr;71(4):978-86.

Concentrations of riboflavin and related organic acids in children with protein-energy malnutrition.

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Laboratoire de Pathologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire en Nutrition and Service de Pédiatrie, Hôpital d'Enfants, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, Faculté de Médecine de Nancy, Nancy, France.



Riboflavin, flavin mononucleotide (FMN), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) concentrations have been little studied in cases of malnutrition.


Our objective was to investigate the effects of malnutrition on riboflavin status and riboflavin's relation with thyroid hormones and concentrations of urinary organic acids.


Malnourished children from the savannah in Benin (group S, n = 30) and the coast in Togo (group C, n = 30), as well as 24 control subjects from both regions, were studied. Blood riboflavin, FMN, and FAD were analyzed by HPLC; urinary organic acids were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.


Children in group S were more severely malnourished than children in group C. Triiodothyronine concentrations were lower in group S than in group C or the control group (1.12 +/- 0.24 compared with 1.74 +/- 0.18 and 2.92 +/- 0.19 nmol/L, respectively; P < 0.0001). Plasma riboflavin concentrations in group S were higher than those in group C or the control group (66.90 +/- 12.75 compared with 28.09 +/- 9.12 and 20.08 +/- 3.03 nmol/L, respectively; P < 0.001). Plasma FAD concentrations in group S were lower than those in group C or the control group (31.57 +/- 10.19 compared with 59.02 +/- 5.60 and 65.35 +/- 5.23 nmol/L, respectively; P < 0.0001). Dicarboxylic aciduria was higher in group C than in group S or the control subjects.


Children in group S had low triiodothyronine concentrations and low conversion of plasma riboflavin into its cofactors, leading to a plasma FAD deficiency. Plasma FAD was not correlated with urinary dicarboxylic acid concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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