Findings in 3 clinical trials challenge the accuracy of the Institute of Medicine's estimated average requirements for vitamin A in children and women

Jesse Sheftel, Ashley R. Valentine, Angela K. Hull, Tetra Fadjarwati, Bryan M. Gannon, Christopher R. Davis, Sherry A. Tanumihardjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Vitamin A (VA) estimated average requirements (EARs) for women and children are extrapolated from rats and adult males. The retinol isotope dilution (RID) test can sensitively characterize VA status and intake requirements. OBJECTIVES: These studies evaluated current EARs for children 4-8 y and women 19-30 y old. METHODS: Zambian children (n = 133, ages 5-7 y), US women (n = 51, ages 19-27 y), and Indonesian women (n = 29, ages 19-30 y) were provided diets or supplements containing 30%-155% of VA EARs for 42-90 d. RID was performed before and after the intervention to quantify changes in total body VA stores (TBSs) and total liver VA reserves (TLRs). Linear regression was performed between VA intake and change in TBSs or TLRs. RESULTS: Baseline mean ± SD TLRs were hypervitaminotic in Zambian children (1.13 ± 0.41 μmol VA/g liver), optimal in US women (0.46 ± 0.32 μmol/g VA/g liver), and deficient to marginal in Indonesian women (0.10 ± 0.08 μmol VA/g liver). VA intakes, resulting in no change in TBSs or TLRs, were 185 (95% CI: 18, 288) or 257 (95% CI: 124, 411) and 285 or 330 (CIs undefined) μg retinol activity equivalents (RAE)/d in the Zambian and US trials, respectively, but inconclusive in Indonesian women. The regression was not significant in either group of women. CONCLUSIONS: Point estimates of VA intakes to maintain stores were below the current EARs of 275 (children) and 500 (women) μg RAE/d despite the TLRs being higher than the EARs were formulated to maintain (i.e., 0.07 μmol VA/g liver). Interventions based on these EARs may need to be scaled back. Lack of change in VA stores in women taking lower doses may result from physiological adaptation resulting in lower VA utilization. Longer, larger, and controlled studies are needed to accurately define EARs for VA.These trials were registered at Clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04123210 and NCT01814891.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1331
Number of pages10
JournalThe American journal of clinical nutrition
Volume113
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 8 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • dietary requirements
  • EAR
  • retinol
  • stable isotope
  • vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Findings in 3 clinical trials challenge the accuracy of the Institute of Medicine's estimated average requirements for vitamin A in children and women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this