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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1984 Dec;73(6):1445-8.

Vitamin A supplementation and plasma retinol levels: a randomized trial among women.


Although dietary intake of vitamin A has little, if any, overall effect on blood retinol in generally well-nourished populations, subgroups may exist that would be responsive to supplementation. The hypothesis that vitamin A supplementation increases blood retinol in apparently well-fed individuals with lower than usual blood levels was tested in female health workers, with relatively low blood retinol values, who were randomly assigned to receive vitamin A (10,000 IU daily) or placebo. After 4 weeks the mean change in plasma retinol was -0.4 micrograms/dl for the group receiving placebo and +4.1 micrograms/dl (an increase of 9% over base-line values) for the group receiving vitamin A (P = .02). The results were similar when the base-line retinol level and several other covariates were considered. Thirteen women who had initially received placebo were then switched to vitamin A for 4 weeks. These women experienced a mean increase of 5.3 micrograms/dl in plasma retinol (P = .04). Responses to vitamin A supplementation tend to be greater among women with lower previous total vitamin A intake, as assessed by questionnaire [Spearman rank correlation coefficient (r) = 0.50; P = .01].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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