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DOES A HELP?

ANCHOR LEAD: CONTROVERSY CONTINUES OVER THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENTATION, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Why does a wealth of evidence suggest a benefit in maternal and infant mortality when vitamin A supplements are given during pregnancy but a huge study from Ghana contradicts the finding?  William Checkley, author of a recent Johns Hopkins study relating lung size and function to the supplements, explains the issue is one of scarcity.

CHECKLEY: Vitamin A is one of those key nutrients that are essential for growth and cell differentiation.   In populations where there is a high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency one could see many complications of that including increases in infant mortality and maternal mortality.  :17

So Africa isn’t as vitamin A deficient as Nepal.

CHECKLEY: They are two different settings.  Maternal mortality is significantly lower in Africa, also the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency is much lower.   :07

Checkley says such studies help governments decide where to allocate scarce resources more effectively.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

 

 


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