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Pathog Glob Health. 2017 Feb;111(1):45-48. doi: 10.1080/20477724.2016.1261489. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Improved infant hemoglobin (Hb) and blood glucose concentrations: The beneficial effect of maternal vitamin A supplementation of malaria-infected mothers in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

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a Department of Medical Laboratory Science , Ebonyi State University , Abakaliki , Ebonyi State , Nigeria.
b Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology , University of Nigeria , Nsukka.
c Federal Teaching Hospital , Abakaliki , Nigeria.


One hundred and fifty-two malaria-infected pregnant women whose pregnancies had advanced to the 6th month were randomised into two study groups - supplemented and placebo groups, after obtaining their approved consents. Ten thousand international units of vitamin A soft gels were administered to the supplemented group three times per week. Vitamin A soft gels devoid of their active ingredients were administered thrice weekly to the placebo group. Two hundred thousand international units of vitamin A was administered to the supplemented groups within 8 weeks postpartum. Placebo was given to the control group at same time after delivery. The regimen was continued in the two groups at three-month intervals until 12 months. Quarterly, 3 ml of venous blood was collected from each infant in the two groups and was used for the estimation of hemoglobin concentrations and determination of blood glucose levels. Hemoglobin concentrations were estimated using hemiglobincyanide method while the blood glucose levels were determined with a glucometer. Analysis of variance, Fisher's least significant difference and t-test were used for data analysis. Statistical significance was established at p < 0.05. Both hemoglobin concentrations and blood glucose levels were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the supplemented group than in the placebo group. The malaria infection mitigating effects of maternal vitamin A supplementation have been established in the present study and supported by previous studies. Vitamin A supplementation, fortification of foods with vitamin A and diversification of diets, are advocated for maintenance of good health and protection against some infectious diseases.


blood glucose; hemoglobin; malaria; maternal; vitamin A

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