Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2006
Publication Date: 4/16/2007
Citation: Ribaya-Mercado, J., Maramag, C.C., Tengco, L.W., Dolnikowski, G., Blumberg, J., Solon, F.S. 2007. Carotene-Rich Plant Foods Ingested With Minimal Dietary Fat Enhance The Total-Body Vitamin A Pool Size In Filipino Schoolchildren As Assessed By Stable-Isotope-Dilution Methodology. Micronutrient Forum 2007. Istanbul, Turkey, 4/16/07-4/18/07. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Background: Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in many developing nations, thus strategies for improving vitamin A status are needed. Aims: We studied the influence of amounts of dietary fat on the bioavailability of plant provitamin A carotenoids and their effectiveness in improving vitamin A status. Methods: Schoolchildren (8.9-12.0 y) were randomly assigned to 3 study groups, and fed standardized meals 3 times/d, 5 d/wk, for 9 wk at school. The meals provided 4.2 mg/d of provitamin A carotenoids (mainly beta-carotene) from yellow and green leafy vegetables [carrots, pechay (bok choy), squash, and kangkong (swamp cabbage)] and differed in amounts of dietary fat (refined coconut oil) which was either 7, 15, or 29 g/d (2.4, 5, or 10 g/meal) (Groups A, B, and C; n = 39, 39, and 38, respectively). Other self-selected foods eaten were recorded daily. At pre- and post-intervention, total-body vitamin A pool sizes and liver vitamin A concentrations were assessed by the deuterated-retinol-dilution method; serum retinol and carotenoid concentrations, by HPLC. Results: In Groups A, B, and C, the daily intakes of beta-carotene from study meals plus self-selected foods were 14 times usual intakes, whereas the daily fat intakes were 0.9, 1.4, and 2.0 times usual intakes, respectively. In the 3 study groups, similar increases were observed in serum mean beta-carotene (5-fold), alpha-carotene (19-fold), beta-cryptoxanthin (2-fold), total-body vitamin A pool size (2-fold) and liver vitamin A concentration (2-fold) after 9 wk; mean serum retinol concentration was unchanged. The overall prevalence of low liver vitamin A (<0.07 micromol/g) decreased from 35% to 7%. Conclusions: Only a small amount of dietary fat is needed for optimal bioavailability of plant provitamin A carotenoids. Carotene-rich yellow and green leafy vegetables, when ingested with minimal fat, enhance serum carotenoids and the total-body vitamin A pool size, and can restore low liver vitamin A concentrations to normal levels.