ANCHOR LEAD: CHILDREN WHOSE MOTHERS RECEIVED VITAMIN A WHILE PREGNANT DERIVE BENEFIT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Lung size is larger in children whose mothers took vitamin A supplements while pregnant, a Johns Hopkins study in Nepal led by William Checkley has found. Larger lungs work better and are a proxy for survival, Checkley says.
CHECKLEY: The study followed a cohort of children whose mothers were enrolled in a cluster placebo-controlled randomized trial. These mothers received either vitamin A, beta carotene or placebo, and we had the opportunity to follow the children nine to fourteen years later who were born to the mothers who received the supplementation. And see what their lung function was like. We found that the children whose mothers received vitamin A had greater lung function than the children whose mothers received placebo. :31
Checkley says this study adds weight to the argument that vitamin A supplements should be given in countries that are chronically vitamin A deficient. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.