Determination of vitamin A total body stores and toxicity indicators in children exposed to large scale food fortification and inflammation

To combat vitamin A deficiency, a serious public health problem in low income settings, vitamin A supplementation and fortification programs have been implemented as some of the most cost-effective health interventions. However, recent survey data indicate that fortification of multiple food vehicles could mean that more than 20% of young children might have vitamin A intakes above the safe upper level of intake, if fortification levels are not adjusted to account for the impact of other programs.

Since the assessment of excessive intake of vitamin A and associated risk remains problematic, this multi-disciplinary and multi-national research program assessed whether multiple exposure to vitamin A programs is associated with intake levels above the safe upper level of intake, excess hepatic stores and/or biomarkers of vitamin A toxicity.

The collected data of this project will aid in the validation of the vitamin A tracer dilution technique in individuals with inflammation, to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of vitamin A interventions across the full spectrum of vitamin A status, and the establishment of dietary assessment methods. Furthermore, the collected data will help evaluate new and sensitive biomarkers of vitamin A toxicity to develop potential non-invasive serum markers of toxicity in human populations. The collected data was collected from 1-5 year old children from Bangladesh, Guatemala and the Philippines who were selected based on multiple exposure to vitamin A intervention programs. The data consists of dietary and biochemical data describing the nutritional status as well as socioeconomic and demographic status of all participants. Furthermore, a pig model was used to evaluate traditional and novel biomarkers of hypervitaminosis A.