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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 May;49(5):379-84.

Vitamin A status in children with pneumonia.

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Departamento de Nutrição, Facultade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil.



To assess vitamin A status in children with pneumonia.


Thirty-four hospitalised patients with pneumonia were randomly allocated into two groups: the study group, besides the routine treatment, received a high dose of aqueous retinyl palmitate oral solution; the control group received only the routine treatment.


The concentrations of plasma vitamin A and carotenoids were determined by colorimetric method. Retinol binding protein (RBP) was determined by the radial immunodiffusion technique.


After 1 week of treatment there was a statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in the levels (mean +/- s.e.) of vitamin A (study group: 14.1 +/- 1.6 to 26.5 +/- 5.8 micrograms/dl; control group: 16.1 +/- 3.3 to 24.1 +/- 2.3 micrograms/dl) and RBP (study group: 0.8 +/- 0.2 to 2.2 +/- 0.6 mg/dl; control group: 0.6 +/- 0.2 to 3.0 +/- 0.5 mg/dl) in both groups as compared to the baseline. On day 7 of treatment when the average levels of vitamin A (26.5 +/- 5.8 and 24.1 +/- 2.3 micrograms/dl) were compared, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups.


This study suggests that low levels of circulating plasma vitamin A in child with pneumonia may be a consequence of acute phase of infectious disease.

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