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Vitamin A Supplementation Programs and Country-Level Evidence of Vitamin A Deficiency
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Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 280; doi:10.3390/nu9030280

We Need Studies of the Mortality Effect of Vitamin A Supplementation, Not Surveys of Vitamin A Deficiency

1
Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines, Bandim Health Project, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
2
Odense Patient data Explorative Network, Odense University Hospital/Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense C, Denmark
Received: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin A Update 2016)
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Abstract

It is usually acknowledged that high-dose vitamin A supplementation (VAS) provides no sustained improvement in vitamin A status, and that the effect of VAS on mortality is more likely linked to its immunomodulating effects. Nonetheless, it is widely assumed that we can deduce something about the need for continuing or stopping VAS programs based on studies of the biochemical prevalence of vitamin A deficiency (VAD). This is no longer a tenable assumption. The justification for using VAS is to reduce child mortality, but there is now doubt that VAS has any effect on overall child mortality. What we need now are not surveys of VAD, but proper randomized trials to evaluate whether VAS has beneficial effects on overall child survival. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin A deficiency; vitamin A supplementation; child mortality; low-income countries vitamin A deficiency; vitamin A supplementation; child mortality; low-income countries
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Benn, C.S. We Need Studies of the Mortality Effect of Vitamin A Supplementation, Not Surveys of Vitamin A Deficiency. Nutrients 2017, 9, 280.

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