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Nutrients 2016, 8(3), 149; doi:10.3390/nu8030149

Vitamin Status among Breastfed Infants in Bhaktapur, Nepal

1
Department of Child Health, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj, P.O. Box 1524, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
2
Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, P.O. Box 7800, 5020 Bergen, Norway
3
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4
World Fish, Malaysia, GPO 10670, Bayan Lepas, Penang 11960, Malaysia
5
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 4, St. Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway
6
Section for Pharmacology, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway
7
Bevital AS, c/o Helse Bergen, Jonas Lies veg 87, 5020 Bergen, Norway
8
Department of Epidemiology and Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
9
Innlandet Hospital Trust, 2629 Lillehammer, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
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Abstract

Vitamin deficiencies are known to be common among infants residing in low- and middle-income countries but relatively few studies have assessed several biochemical parameters simultaneously. The objective of the study was to describe the status of vitamins (A, D, E, B6, B12 and folate) in breastfed infants. We measured the plasma concentrations of trans retinol, 25 hydroxy vitamin D, α-tocopherol, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, cobalamin, folate, methylmalonic acid, homocysteine, hemoglobin and C-reactive protein from 467 randomly selected infants. One in five (22%) was deficient in at least one vitamin. Mean (SD) plasma folate concentration was 73 (35) nmol/L, and no infant in the sample was folate deficient. Vitamin B6 deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency was found in 22% and 17% of the infants, respectively. Elevated plasma methylmalonic acid or total homocysteine concentration was found in 82% and 62% of infants, respectively. Fifteen percent of infants were vitamin A deficient and 65% were marginally deficient in vitamin A. Fewer than 5% of infants had low plasma vitamin D concentration or vitamin E concentration (α-tocopherol <9.3 µmol/L). Our results illustrate the importance of continued supplementation campaigns and support the expansion of food fortification and dietary diversification programs that target children and women in Nepal. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamins; infant; Nepal; methylmalonic acid; homocysteine vitamins; infant; Nepal; methylmalonic acid; homocysteine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ulak, M.; Chandyo, R.K.; Thorne-Lyman, A.L.; Henjum, S.; Ueland, P.M.; Midttun, Ø.; Shrestha, P.S.; Fawzi, W.W.; Graybill, L.; Strand, T.A. Vitamin Status among Breastfed Infants in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Nutrients 2016, 8, 149.

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