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Abstracts

Vitamin A: 249 Abstract Summaries

BASIC RESEARCH
1. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003;85-A Suppl 3:29-33.
Stimulation of Type-X Collagen Gene Transcription by Retinoids Occurs in Part Through the BMP Signaling Pathway.
Adams SL, Pallante KM, Niu Z, Cohen AJ, Lu J, LeBoy PS.
Basic research on retinoids in chondrocyte maturation in bone is clinically relevant since at high concentrations vitamin A is a potent teratogen but at low concentrations deficiency causes skeletal abnormalities. The concern of researchers is that synthetic derivatives of vitamin A are widely used therapeutic agents for the treatment of several types of diseases, making it of utmost importance to understand their effects on endochondral bone formation.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
2. Transplantation. 2003 Aug 15;76(3):480-9.
Isotretinoin ameliorates renal damage in experimental acute renal allograft rejection.
Kiss E, Adams J, Grone HJ, Wagner J.
Germany
In experimental models of kidney disease (glomerulonephritis and renal interstitial disease), Vitamin A derivatives called retinoids were shown to reduce both glomerular and tubular damage and inflammation. In this kidney transplant study isotretinoin significantly ameliorated functional, vascular, glomerular, and tubulointerstitial lesions in acute graft rejection.

HUMAN RESEARCH
3. J Korean Med Sci. 2003 Aug;18(4):534-40.
Intake of dietary fat and vitamin in relation to breast cancer risk in korean women: a case-control study.
Do MH, Lee SS, Jung PJ, Lee MH.
Korea
A group of 224 women biopsy-positive for breast cancer were compared with 250 women without breast cancer. Diet analysis showed a significant association of beta-carotene and vitamin C and decreasing risk of breast cancer.

HUMAN RESEARCH
4. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2003 Aug;7(8):804-7.
Vitamin A status of patients presenting with pulmonary tuberculosis and asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Mugusi FM, Rusizoka O, Habib N, Fawzi W.
Tanzania
In a study of HIV infected patients who also had tuberculosis show vitamin A deficiency. The authors concluded that nutritional supplementation of vitamin A may be beneficial.

HUMAN RESEARCH
5. J Nutr Health Aging. 2003;7(5):296-9.
Total calcium intake is associated with cortical bone mineral density in a cohort of postmenopausal women not taking estrogen.
Suzuki Y, Davison KS, Chilibeck PD.
Canada
There is some research that indicates that a high intake of retinol may have an adverse effect on bone mineral density. This study suggests that supplemental calcium use is critical for maintaining bone mass. And increased retinol intake from nutrient supplements had no adverse effect on BMD.

HUMAN RESEARCH
6. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Aug;12(8):713-20.
Premenopausal intakes of vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and carotenoids, and risk of breast cancer.
Cho E, Spiegelman D, Hunter DJ, Chen WY, Zhang SM, Colditz GA, Willett WC.
USA
The dietary intake of vitamins A, C, E, folate, and carotenoids in relation to breast cancer was measured in 90,655 premenopausal women ages 26-46 years in 1991 in the Nurses' Health Study II. During 8 years of follow-up from 1991 to 1999, 714 incident cases of invasive breast cancer were documented. Researchers concluded that intake of vitamin A, including preformed vitamin A and carotenoids, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer among smokers.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
7. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2003 May;32(3):209-11.
Influences of iron overload on lipid peroxidation in rats and inhibiting effects of antioxidant vitamins]
Long Y, Sun C, Wang C.
China
Iron overload leads to lipid peroxidation, which may be prevented with antioxidant vitamin E and beta-carotene. In a group of rats given excessive doses of iron the activities of antioxidant enzymes increased at the same time to keep the body homeostasis. Therefore researchers concluded that antioxidant vitamins may play a role to inhibit the above changes.

HUMAN RESEARCH
8. Br J Nutr. 2003 Aug;90(2):405-12.
Inhibition of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin 6 production by mononuclear cells following dietary fish-oil supplementation in healthy men and response to antioxidant co-supplementation.
Trebble T, Arden NK, Stroud MA, Wootton SA, Burdge GC, Miles EA, Ballinger AB, Thompson RL, Calder PC.
UK
In this study, intake of antioxidants, which included vitamin A as beta-carotene and retinol, resulted in a positive augmentation of the action of essential fatty acids on the production of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin.

HUMAN RESEARCH
9. Br J Nutr. 2003 Aug;90(2):353-61.
Use of biomarkers of sub-clinical infection, nutrition and neonatal maturity to interpret plasma retinol in Nigerian neonates.
Adelekan DA, Northrop-Clewes CA, Owa JA, Oyedeji AO, Owoeye AA, Thurnham DI.
Nigeria
In a study assessing the usefulness of various tests to determine vitamin A deficiency a 72% deficiency of vitamin A was found in 192 apparently healthy neonates in Nigeria. Babies of low birth weight or premature had the lowest levels of vitamin A.

HUMAN RESEARCH
10. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003 Sep;54(5):329-39.
Small fish is an important dietary source of vitamin A and calcium in rural Bangladesh.
Roos N, Mazharul Islam M, Thilsted SH.
Bangladesh
This study confirmed that small, wild, indigenous fish are a very important and perhaps irreplaceable dietary source of vitamin A and calcium.

HUMAN RESEARCH
11. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2003;14(1):31-42.
Lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in plasma and red blood cells from patients with pemphigus vulgaris.
Naziroglu M, Kokcam I, Simsek H, Karakilcik AZ.
Turkey
In this study 18 nonsmoking pemphigus vulgaris patients and an equal number of age- and gender-matched, healthy control subjects were compared. It was found that among other nutrients significantly lower concentrations of plasma antioxidantbeta-carotene and vitamin A were found in pemphigus vulgaris patients than in control subjects.

HUMAN RESEARCH
12. Wiad Lek. 2003;56(1-2):61-70.
Waluga M, Hartleb M.
Poland
This report confirms an over utilization of vitamin A in the alcoholic liver, which leads to deficiency.

HUMAN RESEARCH
13. Postgrad Med J. 2003 Jul;79(933):397-402.
Single megadose vitamin A supplementation of Indian mothers and morbidity in breastfed young infants.
Basu S, Sengupta B, Paladhi PK.
India
A study in India gave new mother a single megadose vitamin A. Breastfed infants showed elevated levels of vitamin A in their blood for up to six months. There was also a decreased incidence and duration of various diseases the infants, indicating a decrease in morbidity due to the vitamin A.

HUMAN RESEARCH
14. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Aug;22(4):311-5.
Inadequate antioxidant nutrient intake and altered plasma antioxidant status of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Bae SC, Kim SJ, Sung MK
Korea
In a group of 97 rheumatoid arthritis patients the intake of fat, vitamin A and beta-carotene were significantly lower than that of controls. The authors concluded that their results indicate that proper antioxidant nutrient supplementation may reduce free radical generation and improve antioxidant status in these patients.

HUMAN RESEARCH
15. BMJ. 2003 Aug 2;327(7409):254.
Impact of supplementing newborn infants with vitamin A on early infant mortality: community based randomised trial in southern India.
Rahmathullah L, Tielsch JM, Thulasiraj RD, Katz J, Coles C, Devi S, John R, Prakash K, Sadanand AV, Edwin N, Kamaraj C.
India
A study in India observed a group of newborns for six months after a single dose supplementation with vitamin A and compared them with controls. The infants in the vitamin A group had a 22% reduction in total mortality compared with those receiving a placebo. The major impact was between two weeks and three months after treatment, with no additional impact after three months. The authors concluded that supplementing newborn infants with vitamin A can significantly reduce early infant mortality.

HUMAN RESEARCH
16. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2003 Sep;22(5):683-703.
Vitamin A metabolism in the retinal pigment epithelium: genes, mutations, and diseases.
Thompson DA, Gal A.
USA
This paper identifies the current research into the causes and treatment of diseases resulting from defects in retinal vitamin A metabolism. The authors comment that progress and prospects for targeted therapeutic intervention in vitamin A metabolism are presented, including retinoid replacement therapy. Based on the early successes in animal models, and plans underway for Phase I/II clinical trials, the authors hopethat the near future will bring effective therapies for many retinal dystrophy patients with defects in vitamin A metabolism.

HUMAN RESEARCH
17. Food Nutr Bull. 2003 Jun;24(2):218-23.
A multinutrient package of iron, vitamin A, and iodine improved the productivity and earnings of women tea pickers in south India.
Gopaldas T, Gujral S.
India
At an Indian tea plantation between 1996 to 1998, 339 women pickers and their families were given (60 mg of elemental iron two times a week) and vitamin A (1,600 IU) once a week, and encouraged to purchase subsidized iodized salt (30 ppm) from the plantation ration shop. Hemoglogin levels increase and productivity of the workers increased as a result of supplementation.

HUMAN RESEARCH
18. Food Nutr Bull. 2003 Jun;24(2):208-17.
Red palm oil supplementation: a feasible diet-based approach to improve the vitamin A status of pregnant women and their infants.
Radhika MS, Bhaskaram P, Balakrishna N, Ramalakshmi BA.
India
A double-blinded, randomized, controlled study determined the effect of dietary supplementation with red palm oil during pregnancy on maternal and neonatal vitamin A status. 170 women ranging from 16 to 24 weeks of gestation received either red palm oil to supply the RDA of 2,400 micrograms of beta-carotene or an equivalent volume of groundnut oil. The women received the oils for a period of 8 weeks, starting at 26 to 28 weeks of gestation and extending to 34 to 36 weeks of gestation. It was found that a significantly lower number of women in the red palm oil group had vitamin A deficiency and they were also less anemic. There was an increased risk of low birth-weight and preterm delivery with decreasing serum retinol levels in the third trimester of pregnancy. The authors concluded that since maternal vitamin A status in the later part of pregnancy is significantly associated with fetal growth and maturation red palm oil, a rich source of bioavailable vitamin A, could be used as a diet-based approach for improving vitamin A status in pregnancy.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
19. J Nutr. 2003 Aug;133(8):2629-34.
Vitamin A depletion induced by cigarette smoke is associated with the development of emphysema in rats.
Li T, Molteni A, Latkovich P, Castellani W, Baybutt RC.
USA
These same authors have shown in previous studies that vitamin A deficiency causes emphysema. It is also known that benzo(a)pyrene, which is a constituent in cigarette smoke, induces vitamin A depletion when administered to rats. This hypothesis was tested and shown that cigarette smoke induces vitamin A depletion, which is associated with the development of emphysema. The lower the vitamin A levels the worse the emphysema.

HUMAN RESEARCH
20. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Jan-Feb;97(1):109-14.
Effects of multimicronutrient supplementation on helminth reinfection: a randomized, controlled trial in Kenyan schoolchildren.
Olsen A, Thiong'o FW, Ouma JH, Mwaniki D, Magnussen P, Michaelsen KF, Friis H, Geissler PW.
Kenya
A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was carried out among 977 schoolchildren from 19 primary schools in Nyanza Province, Kenya from February 1995 to February 1996 to determine effects on worm infestation. The treatments included vitamin A and are as follows:(vitamin A, 1000 micrograms; vitamin B1, 1.4 mg; vitamin B2, 1.6 mg; vitamin B6, 1.7 mg; vitamin B12, 2.0 micrograms; folate, 150 micrograms; niacin, 16 mg; vitamin C, 50 mg; vitamin D, 5 micrograms; vitamin E, 8 mg; iron, 18 mg; zinc, 20 mg; copper, 2.0 mg; iodine, 150 micrograms; selenium, 40 micrograms) and multihelminth chemotherapy (albendazole 600 mg in a single dose and/or praziquantel 40 mg/kg in a single dose). Children given multimicronutrients had a slightly, but significantly, lower intensity of Schistosoma mansoni reinfection compared with children given placebo.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
21. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2003 Feb;49(1):69-72.
Measurement of retinoids and beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase activity in HR-1 hairless mouse skin with UV exposure.
Takeda A, Morinobu T, Takitani K, Kimura M, Tamai H.
Japan
After ultra violet light exposure, the skin retinoid concentration was significantly lower in hairless mouse skin. Higher skin beta-carotene dioxygenase (enzyme) activity was observed in the UV group as compared to the control group. The authors concluded that In conclusion, the elevation of beta-carotene dioxygenase activity in hairless mice after UV exposure may be a response to reduction of the skin retinoid concentration due to damage by UV light.

HUMAN RESEARCH
22. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Jul;84(7):1061-7.
Serum levels of vitamins A, C, and E in persons with chronic spinal cord injury living in the community.
Moussavi RM, Garza HM, Eisele SG, Rodriguez G, Rintala DH.
USA
A total of 110 individuals with spinal cord injury were assessed for vitamin status. Up to 1/3rd (16%-37%) of the participants had serum levels below the reference range for each vitamin. Higher levels of serum vitamin A were related to better function and health status and with not having a pressure ulcer within the past 12 months. The authors suggested that further study is needed to determine effective interventions to improve vitamin levels and determine the effect of such improvements on overall health and rehabilitation outcomes.

HUMAN RESEARCH
23. Br J Ophthalmol. 2003 Aug;87(8):941-5.
Causes and temporal trends of blindness and severe visual impairment in children in schools for the blind in North India.
Titiyal JS, Pal N, Murthy GV, Gupta SK, Tandon R, Vajpayee RB, Gilbert CE.
India
In this study a total of 703 children were examined in 13 blind schools in Delhi. It was found that almost half of the children studied suffered from potentially preventable and/or treatable conditions, with vitamin A deficiency, childhood measles and cataract the leading causes. The authors concluded that retinal disorders seem to be increasing in importance while childhood disorders have declined over a period of 10 years.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
24. Lipids. 2003 May;38(5):539-43.
Differences in delta9 desaturase activity between Jersey- and Limousin-sired cattle.
Siebert BD, Pitchford WS, Kruk ZA, Kuchel H, Deland MP, Bottema CD.
Australia
An experiment examined delta9 desaturase activity and fatty acid composition in subcutaneous adipose tissue in two differing breeds of cattle. It appeard that some cattle have a reduced capacity to metabolize beta-carotene to various forms of vitamin A, a compound that can reduce delta9 desaturase enzyme activity. In addition, the higher level of intramuscular fat in Jersey cattle (6.97 vs. 3.82%) is possibly related to a lack of inhibition of the adipocyte differentiation genes by vitamin A. could this have implications for human obesity?

HUMAN RESEARCH
25. Acta Trop. 2003 Aug;87(3):345-53.
In vitro antimalarial activity of retinoids and the influence of selective retinoic acid receptor antagonists.
Hamzah J, Skinner-Adams TS, Davis TM.
Australia
This study was set up on the premise that retinol (vitamin A alcohol) may have a beneficial role in the host response to malaria in humans. The authors also noted that previously published data have suggested that it has a direct inhibitory effect on the growth of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. They then studied various retinoids to assess effectiveness. They concluded that their data suggest that retinol has greater antimalarial activity than its metabolites and especially retinyl palmitate.

HUMAN RESEARCH
26. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2003 Jul;22(7):778-83.
Treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia in pediatric heart transplant recipients.
Parisi F, Danesi H, Di Ciommo V, Fina F, Giannone G, Colistro F, Di Donato RM, Catena G.
Italy
In this study 27 pediatric heart transplant patients had homocysteine levels higher than normal. All children received vitamin supplementation (vitamin B(12), vitamin E, vitamin A and folic acid). They observed a significant homocysteine concentration decrease after treatment at every determination. They concluded that vitamin supplementation reduces and may normalize homocysteine serum level after pediatric heart transplantation.

HUMAN RESEARCH
27. Gen Physiol Biophys. 2003 Mar;22(1):15-27.
Antioxidant status and levels of different vitamins determined by high performance liquid chromatography in diabetic subjects with multiple complications.
Merzouk S, Hichami A, Madani S, Merzouk H, Berrouiguet AY, Prost J, Moutairou K, Chabane-Sari N, Khan NA.
Algeria
In this study of vitamin status in diabetic patients vitamin A and E levels were significantly lower in type I and type II diabetic subjects compared to controls. The authors concluded that their results suggest that diabetes mellitus may be associated with altered antioxidant status regardless to various complications.

HUMAN RESEARCH
28. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2003 Jan-Mar;15(1):54-7.
Naturally occurring antioxidant vitamin levels in patients with type-II diabetes mellitus.
Ahmad M, Khan MA, Khan AS.
Pakistan
This study compared the antioxidant vitamin levels in Type II diabetic individuals and control healthy subjects. A range of blood tests including blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-c, LDL-c, VLDL-c and antioxidant vitamins (beta-Carotene, A, E, and C) levels were determined in 36 Type II diabetic patients and 30 healthy subjects. The levels of antioxidant vitamins (beta-Carotene, E, and C) were found to be significantly low in Type II diabetes mellitus. The authors concluded that Type II diabetes mellitus patients have significant defects of antioxidant protection as signified by the low levels of antioxidant vitamins.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
29. Environ Res. 2003 Sep;93(1):79-87.
Negative relationship between PCBs and plasma retinol in low-contaminated free-ranging gray seal pups (Halichoerus grypus).
Jenssen BM, Haugen O, Sormo EG, Skaare JU.
Norway
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to affect retinol (vitamin A) homeostasis in adult as well as neonatal seals. This study confirms a retinol-depressing effect of PCBs in neonatal gray seals, which was caused by PCB-OH metabolites that increase renal excretion of retinol. This finding is similar to the previous studies on the retinol-depressing effect of PCB in rodents.

HUMAN RESEARCH
30. Kidney Int Suppl. 2003 Feb;(83):S13-6.
Intrauterine determinants of diabetic kidney disease in disadvantaged populations.
Nelson RG.
USA
This paper reviews the evidence that intrauterine exposure to growth retardation, diabetes, and vitamin A deficiency contribute greatly to the rising incidence of kidney disease in disadvantaged people. Such adverse intrauterine exposures reduce nephron mass by impairing nephrogenesis, thereby increasing the susceptibility to kidney damage from diseases such as hypertension and diabetes that commonly affect disadvantaged people.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
31. Am J Rhinol. 2003 May-Jun;17(3):133-7.
Paranasal sinus mucosal regeneration: the effect of topical retinoic acid.
Maccabee MS, Trune DR, Hwang PH.
USA
To study the effects of retinoic acid gel on sinus mucosal regeneration a rabbit model was used. The authors concluded that topical vitamin A in the form of retinoic acid gel appears to enhance regeneration of ciliated paranasal sinus mucosa. This is a preliminary study, which suggests that topical retinoids may promote sinus wound healing.

HUMAN RESEARCH
32. East Afr Med J. 2000 Aug;77(8):421-4.
Vitamin A deficiency in pre-school children in Kenya.
Ngare DK, Muttunga JN, Njonge E.
Kenya
In Kenya, 6,425 pre-school children ages six months to six years, were measured for serum retinol levels and xerophthalmia (eye disease). Over seven per cent of the children were severely vitamin A deficient and 32.9% had marginal vitamin A deficiency. In the youngest age group, six to eleven months, 11.2% and 40.7% of the children were severely and marginally vitamin A deficient, respectively. Clinical examination results indicated that 0.1% of children had a condition called corneal xerosis, and 1% of the children had Bitot's spots. By all accounts, vitamin A deficiency is a significant public health problem in Kenya and the authors recommend urgent intervention.

33. HUMAN RESEARCH
East Afr Med J. 2000 Aug;77(8):417-20.
Correlation between vitamin A and zinc levels in Ghanaian pre-school children.
Takyi EE.
Ghana
In one Ghanaian population of 200 preschool children screened, 4% had deficient level of <10 microg/dL; 17% had low (marginal) level of 10-20 microg/dLand only 2% had high level of >50 microg/dL.

HUMAN RESEARCH
34. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2003 Aug;16(4):225-31.
Five-year prospective analysis of dietary intake and clinical status in malnourished cystic fibrosis patients.
Walkowiak J, Przyslawski J.
Poland
Observed increases in vitamin A and E were related chiefly to changes in the doses of supplementation not to improved dietary intake.

HUMAN RESEARCH
35. East Afr Med J. 2000 Jun;77(6):313-5.
Dietary practices and xerophthalmia in under-fives in Jimma town, southwest Ethiopia.
Getaneh T, Assefa A, Tadesse Z.
Ethiopia
The authors randomly selected 831 children between the ages of six months and five years to study the dietary intake of cheap and easily available vitamin A rich foods and assess the prevalence of xerophthalmlia. Only 80% of the children were getting green vegetables, fruits or carrots once weekly or more. There were three major reasons given for not including vegetables (carrots) and fruits in the diet were "cannot afford" (39%), "not available" (33%), and "child too young" (16%). Eye exams were performed on 628 children, four (0.6%) had xerophthalmia; three had Bitot's spots and one had corneal xerosis. The authors concluded that vitamin A deficiency is a significant public health problem in young children in Jimma town. Periodic vitamin A supplementation should be a priority action, and parents need to be educated about vitamin A deficiency and its prevention.

HUMAN RESEARCH
36. Harefuah. 2003 Jun;142(6):446-50, 485, 484.
Drug related taste disturbances: emphasis on the elderly.
Arcavi L, Shahar A.
Israel
This paper reviews taste disturbances, which are common among the elderly due to physiologic changes, diseases, and medications. The authors note that as many as 11% of elderly persons using multiple drugs report taste aberrations. When this occurs food is often rejected causing loss of body weight and decreased calorie and nutrient intake. Treatments reviewed include: shifting drugs within the same class, zinc replacement (proven to enhance taste sensation for sweet, bitter and salty flavors), palliative measures (use of mints, sugarless chewing-gums, and bicarbonate mouthwashes), niacin and vitamin A ameliorate hypo and dysgeusia.

HUMAN RESEARCH
37. Am J Vet Res. 2003 Jul;64(7):874-9.
Effects of chronic renal disease on the transport of vitamin A in plasma and urine of dogs.
Raila J, Forterre S, Kohn B, Brunnberg L, Schweigert FJ.
Germany
The conclusions and clinical relevance of this study are that chronic renal disease lowers the concentrations of retinol in plasma and urine of dogs. Analysis of the data indicates that measurement of urinary RBP and urinary THP concentrations provides valuable information that can be helpful in follow-up monitoring of dogs with CRD.

HUMAN RESEARCH
38. Vitam Horm. 2003;66:457-591.
Vitamin A and infancy. Biochemical, functional, and clinical aspects.
Perrotta S, Nobili B, Rossi F, Di Pinto D, Cucciolla V, Borriello A, Oliva A, Della Ragione F.
Italy
This paper reminds us that one of the primary roles vitamin A plays is in embryogenesis. Almost all steps in organogenesis are controlled by retinoic acids, thus suggesting that retinol is necessary for proper development of embryonic tissues. The authors further state that these considerations point to the dramatic importance of a sufficient intake of vitamin A and explain the consequences if intake of retinol is deficient. On the other hand, too much vitamin A has a number of remarkable negative consequences, which, in same cases, could be fatal. The authors then warn of the use of large doses of retinol in the medical treatment of some human diseases can cause serious problems.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
39. Arch Toxicol. 2003 Jul;77(7):371-83. Epub 2003 Mar 25.
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo- p-dioxin (TCDD) alters the endogenous metabolism of all- trans-retinoic acid in the rat.
Schmidt CK, Hoegberg P, Fletcher N, Nilsson CB, Trossvik C, Hakansson H, Nau H.
Germany
Agent orange is a dioxin (2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo- p-dioxin (TCDD)) and known to influence vitamin A homeostasis. Rats were exposed to TCDD and various aspects of retinol metabolism and enzyme functions were monitored. The authors found that crucial cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver were affected leading significant alteration of retinol metabolism and contributing to severe toxicity of TCDD.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
40. Br J Nutr. 2003 Jul;90(1):191-8.
Triiodothyronine administration reverses vitamin A deficiency-related hypo-expression of retinoic acid and triiodothyronine nuclear receptors and of neurogranin in rat brain.
Husson M, Enderlin V, Alfos S, Feart C, Higueret P, Pallet V.
France
The authors comment on recent studies that have revealed that retinoids play an important role in the adult central nervous system and cognitive functions. They cite previous investigations in mice showing that vitamin A deficiency (VAD) generates a hypo-expression of retinoic acid (RA, the active metabolite of vitamin A) receptors and of neurogranin (RC3, a neuronal protein involved in synaptic plasticity) and a concomitant selective behavioral impairment. They wanted to study the thyroid involvement with vitamin A deficiency knowing that RC3 is both a triiodothyronine (T3) and a RA target gene. Their results, obtained in vivo, revealed that one of the consequences of VAD is a dysfunction in the thyroid signaling pathway in the brain.

HUMAN RESEARCH
41. Br J Nutr. 2003 Jul;90(1):69-74.
Uptake of vitamin A in buccal mucosal cells after topical application of retinyl palmitate: a randomised, placebo-controlled and double-blind trial.
Sobeck U, Fischer A, Biesalski HK.
Germany
This study was designed to measure the uptake of retinols in buccal mucosal epithelium. The impetus for the study came because retinoids have been reported to produce regressions in metaplastic changes of the mucosal epithelium. The authors demonstrated in a randomized, placebo control trial that retinyl palmitate applied topically via a toothpaste is readily taken up by buccal mucosal cells in young healthy volunteers.

HUMAN RESEARCH
42. Placenta. 2003 Apr;24 Suppl A:S65-71.
Programming the cardiovascular system, kidney and the brain--a review.
Wintour EM, Johnson K, Koukoulas I, Moritz K, Tersteeg M, Dodic M.
Australia
The authors of this review paper describe the importance of the concept that 'life before birth' or the 'first environment' in determining subsequent risk for the development of cardiovascular/metabolic disease and that it is is now gaining acceptance. The authors argue that any factor disrupting nephrogenesis (kidney formation), and lowers nephron number, during the period of active kidney formation, will induce abnormalities in the future functioning of that kidney and predispose to the onset of adult hypertension. They list such factors as exposure of the mother, to a particular low-protein diet, excess synthetic or natural glucocorticoid at certain critical periods, mild vitamin A deficiency, elevated blood glucose, unilateral nephrectomy during the period of nephrogenesis, as well as the deletion of one allele of a gene involved in normal kidney development. The authors insist that all of these stresses are associated with a reduction (20-40 per cent) in total nephron number in the adult, and the development of hypertension. They also found that the period when the kidney and brain are most vulnerable is very early in development, when both organs are in an extremely primitive state of development.

HUMAN RESEARCH
43. Indian J Pediatr. 2003 May;70(5):383-7.
Drumstick leaves as source of vitamin A in ICDS-SFP.
Nambiar VS, Bhadalkar K, Daxini M.
India
In an attempt to find suitable food sources of vitamin A dehydrated drumstick leaves were introduced into a nutrition program for 60 children. The food source was found acceptable and led to improved nutrition status.

BASIC RESEARCH
44. Opin Lipidol. 2003 Jun;14(3):241-7.
Vitamin A uptake from foods.
Li E, Tso P.
USA
This paper reviews the current understanding of vitamin A uptake from foods. The authors mention that a number of genes involved in vitamin A transport and metabolism have been recently identified. They recommend that further studies of the transfer of maternal dietary vitamin A have important implications for assessing the upper limits of maternal vitamin A supplementation since vitamin A is crucial to fetal development but too much can be harmful.

BASIC RESEARCH
45. J Nutr. 2003 Jul;133(7):2131-6.
Vitamin A depletion is associated with low phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase mRNA levels during late fetal development and at birth in mice.
Ghoshal S, Pasham S, Odom DP, Furr HC, McGrane MM.
USA
In this study researchers found that vitamin A is required during liver development as evidenced by its ability to turn on and off a particular liver-promoting gene.

HUMAN RESEARCH
46. J Pediatr. 2003 Jun;142(6):656-61.
A comparison of three vitamin A dosing regimens in extremely-low-birth-weight infants.
Ambalavanan N, Wu TJ, Tyson JE, Kennedy KA, Roane C, Carlo WA.
USA
Researchers noted that vitamin A supplementation reduces bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and death in extremely low birth weight neonates. This study determined what dosage regimes might be the most beneficial. The standard dosage is 5000 IU of vitamin A 3 times per week for 4 weeks. 15,00 IU once a week or 10,000 IU three times a week were tried. The conclusions were that once-per-week dosing worsened the outcome, and higher doses did not reduce, vitamin A deficiency in neonates. Therefore, the standard regimen remains the treatment of choice.

HUMAN RESEARCH
47. J Pediatr. 2003 Jun;142(6):604-10.
Nutritional and energetic consequences of sweetened drink consumption in 6- to 13-year-old children.
Mrdjenovic G, Levitsky DA.
USA
Excessive sweetened drink consumption displaces milk from children's diets because their caregivers served less milk and the children consumed smaller amounts of milk. Consequently children had a lower daily protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin A intake. Also, the greater the sweetened drink consumption the greater the weight gain

HUMAN RESEARCH
48. Paediatr Drugs. 2003;5(7):463-80.
Current perspectives on the prevention and management of chronic lung disease in preterm infants.
Shah PS.
Canada
Vitamin A was cited first, along with high frequency oscillatory ventilation, and administration of glucocorticoids in a review of strategies that have been effective in reducing chronic lung disease in preterm infants.

HUMAN RESEARCH
49. Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Jul 1;158(1):69-76.
Retinoic acid receptor alpha gene variants, multivitamin use, and liver intake as risk factors for oral clefts: a population-based case-control study in Denmark, 1991-1994.
Mitchell LE, Murray JC, O'Brien S, Christensen K.
USA
Data from a Danish case-control study (1991-1994) were used to evaluate the relationship between oral clefts (lip and palate) and retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARA), and maternal vitamin A exposure from multivitamins and liver in the diet. As seen with several previous studies, the results of this study indicated that maternal multivitamin supplement use protects against cleft lip and palate. The authors also found that adequate levels of vitamin A may be required for normal development of the primary palate and not just preventing abnormalities

ANIMAL RESEARCH
50. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003 Jul;112(1):152-8; discussion 159-61.
Investigation of the growth and metastasis of malignant melanoma in a murine model: the role of supplemental vitamin A.
Weinzweig J, Tattini C, Lynch S, Zienowicz R, Weinzweig N, Spangenberger A, Edstrom L.
USA
Vitamin A is known to have both wound-healing and antitumor actions. Vitamin A increases collagen production and deposition around wounds and around mouse model breast and lung tumors. This action of encapsulating a tumor could help localize a cancer and make it surgically treatable. In this malignant melanoma study in mice, the animals supplemented with vitamin A demonstrated decreased tumor growth and metastasis. The authors conclude that there is a potential prophylactic and therapeutic role for supplemental vitamin A in the treatment of malignant melanoma.

HUMAN RESEARCH
51. Nutrition. 2003 Jul-Aug;19(7-8):584-8.
Can anthropometric measurements and diet analysis serve as useful tools to determine risk factors for insulin-resistant diabetes type 2 among white and black Americans?
Allen HG, Allen JC, Boyd LC, Alston-Mills BP.
USA
An incidental finding in analysis of the micronutrient consumption in diabetics showed fairly similar ranges in both whites and blacks except vitamin A consumption was greatest in the white control group and lowest in the black control group.

HUMAN RESEARCH
52. Indian Pediatr. 2003 Jun;40(6):585-7.
Reduction in prevalence of Bitot's spots after administration of mega-dose of vitamin A.
Sethi V, Kapil U.
India
This letter to the editor commented on the reduction of a particular eye condition based on administration of mega-dose vitamin A.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
53. J Vet Sci. 2003 Apr;4(1):103-8.
Effects of combination dietary conjugated linoleic acid with vitamin A (retinol) and selenium on the response of the immunoglobulin production in mice.
Kim JY, Chung BH.
Korea
The combination effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) with vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E or selenium were investigated. In this study, dietary CLA increased immunoglobulin production in a dose-dependent manner. Vitamins A,D, E and selenium when combined with CLA also increased the immunoglobulin production response.

HUMAN RESEARCH
54. Biomed Pharmacother. 2003 May-Jun;57(3-4):113-6
Could antioxidant supplementation reduce antiretroviral therapy-induced chronic stable hyperlactatemia?
Lopez O, Bonnefont-Rousselot D, Edeas M, Emerit J, Bricaire F.
France
This study showed that antioxidant supplementation with vitamin E, beta-carotene, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, Gingko biloba extracts and nutritional supplements improved the asymptomatic stable chronic hyperlactatemia observed in HIV-infected patients on drug therapy. Measurement of blood oxidative stress markers, vitamin E, vitamin A and beta-carotene, were higher in the supplemented group.

HUMAN RESEARCH
55. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jul;78(1):117-22.
Circulating antioxidants and lipid peroxidation products in untreated tuberculosis patients in Ethiopia.
Madebo T, Lindtjorn B, Aukrust P, Berge RK.
Norway
This study set out to investigate the interaction between HIV, tuberculosis, and antioxidants and their relationship with markers of oxidative stress in a large population of Ethiopians. One significant finding was that concentrations of the antioxidant vitamins C, vitamin E and vitamin A were significantly lower in tuberculosis patients than in healthy Ethiopians. The authors discussed the importance of further studies to find out if antioxidant supplementation will improve tuberculosis outcome and even prevent the disease.

HUMAN RESEARCH
56. Eur J Nutr. 2003 Jun;42(3):133-41.
Multinational study of major breast milk carotenoids of healthy mothers.
Canfield LM, Clandinin MT, Davies DP, Fernandez MC, Jackson J, Hawkes J, Goldman WJ, Pramuk K, Reyes H, Sablan B, Sonobe T, Bo X.
USA
A study measuring the total breast milk carotenoids in various countries showed the highest levels in Japanese mothers and lowest in Philippine mothers. Breast milk tested specifically for beta-carotene concentrations were highest in Chile and lowest in the Philippines. The authors concluded that the patterns of breast milk carotenoids were unique to each country and qualitative patterns reflected the amount of carotenoids in the local diet.

HUMAN RESEARCH
57. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003;12(2):178-85.
Micronutrient status of primary school girls in rural and urban areas of South Vietnam.
Ta TM, Nguyen KH, Kawakami M, Kawase M, Nguyen C.
Japan
The diets of rural and urban school girls in Vietnam were studied. The rural group showed dietary deficiencies in iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. However, sufficient consumption of these elements, except beta-carotene, was seen in the urban group. Children with marked vitamin A (retinol) stores (7.1%) were found in the rural group and required immediate retinol supplementation. Furthermore, the prevalence of children with marginal retinol stores in both the rural (35.7%) and urban (21.4%) groups were not considered a public health problem. In both groups, more than 50% and 20% of children showed beta-carotene and tocopherol levels in the range of severe deficiency, respectively. The authors suggested nutritional education to improve the dietary habits of the two groups.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
58. Scientific World Journal. 2001 Dec 18;1(12):916-8.
Vitamin a prevents inner ear defects in mice with congenital homeobox gene deficiency.
Pasqualetti M, Rijli FM.
The authors of this paper comment that vitamin A and its biologically active metabolites, the retinoids, are essential for normal development and survival of vertebrate embryos, including mammals. They remark that scientists have known since the mid-1930s that vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy results in death of the fetus and congenital abnormalities. On the other hand, excess dietary intake of vitamin A can also cause teratogenic responses. Among the main targets of both deficiency and excess retinoid-induced teratogenesis are the heart, limbs, craniofacial structures, central nervous system, and the inner ear.

HUMAN RESEARCH
59. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2003 Apr;97(3):237-43.
In-vitro uptake of vitamin A by Plasmodium falciparum.
Mizuno Y, Kawazu SI, Kano S, Watanabe N, Matsuura T, Ohtomo H.
Japan
The malaria organism P. falciparum appears to gather vitamin A from its host and concentrate it in the cytoplasm of late trophozoites, for use as an antioxidant. The authors suggest this may in part explain the severe hypovitaminosis A seen in malaria cases.

HUMAN RESEARCH
60. Ann Clin Biochem. 2003 May;40(Pt 3):292-4.
Vitamin A deficiency presenting as night blindness during pregnancy.
Livingstone C, Davis J, Marvin V, Morton K.
UK
This is a case study of a pregnant women with a 6-year history of pancreatic malabsorption following surgical subtotal pancreatectomy. At 33 weeks into her third pregnancy she presented with night blindness due to vitamin A deficiency secondary to her malabsorption. The authors recommend that for patients with long-term malabsorption due to intestinal or pancreatic disease vitamin A status should be checked prior to and during pregnancy so that prompt supplementation can be given if necessary. The authors also commented that there is a possibility that vitamin A deficiency may also contribute to pregnancy anemia.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
61. J Radiat Res (Tokyo). 2002 Dec;43 Suppl:S229-32.
The action of a dietary retinoid on gene expression and cancer induction in electron-irradiated rat skin.
Burns FJ, Chen S, Xu G, Wu F, Tang MS.
USA
Ionizing radiation causes skin cancer in rats whereas dietary retinoids have shown potent cancer preventive activity in skin. In this study a non-toxic dietary dose of retinyl acetate altered gene expression levels 24 hours after electron irradiation of rat skin. The radiation significantly (5 fold or higher) altered 188 genes, while the retinoid altered 231, including 16 radiation-altered genes that were reversely altered. The radiation and the retinoid altered different types of genes. Radiation strongly affected the expression of stress response, immune/inflammation and nucleic acid metabolism genes and the retinoid most strongly affected proliferation-related genes, including some significant reversals, such as, keratin 14, retinol binding protein, and calcium binding proteins. The authors conclude that reversal of proliferation-relevant genes as a likely basis for the anti-radiogenic effects of dietary retinyl acetate.

HUMAN RESEARCH
62. Indian J Pediatr. 2003 Apr;70(4):299-301.
Prevalence of iron, vitamin A, and iodine deficiencies amongst adolescent pregnant mothers.
Pathak P, Singh P, Kapil U, Raghuvanshi RS.
India
This study assessed the prevalence of iron, vitamin A and iodine deficiencies amongst rural Adolescent Pregnant Mothers. Vitamin-A deficiency was assessed by presence of night blindness. One hundred and fifty one mother, who belonged to a low socio economic group, were studied.. Eighty nine percent of the APM were in the age group 16-19 yr. Sixteen percent of the women suffered from night blindness. The 24-hour dietary intake revealed that the mean consumption of retinol and iron was only 13% of the recommended dietary allowance and constitute a public health problem.

HUMAN RESEARCH
63. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Sep;102(9):1234-9.
Beverage choices of young females changes and impact on nutrient intakes.
Bowman SA.
USA
This study surveyed 732 young females aged 12-19 years based on their milk and soda consumption. The authors note that milk intake in the population decreased by 36% whereas that of sodas and fruit drinks almost doubled from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s. Data showed that in this age group, intake of fruit juices, soda, tea, fruit drinks, and alcoholic beverages either increased or remained relatively steady, while milk intakes decreased with age. At age 12 years, 78% drank milk and had the lowest soda intake (276g), while at age 19-years, only 36% drank milk and drank a high amount of soda (423g). The non-milk drinkers had inadequate intakes of vitamin A, folate, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

HUMAN RESEARCH
64. Dis Colon Rectum. 2003 May;46(5):679-82.
Oral vitamin a therapy for a patient with a severely symptomatic postradiation anal ulceration: report of a case.
Levitsky J, Hong JJ, Jani AB, Ehrenpreis ED.
USA
This is a case study using vitamin A on postradiation anal ulceration. The authors noted that vitamin A has proven to facilitate wound healing and prevent radiation-induced gastrointestinal damage. However, it has not been used clinically in patients with radiation enteritis, proctopathy, or anal ulceration. They reported on a case of a patient with HIV infection with an anal ulcer after radiation therapy for anal squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment was in the form of 8,000 IU of oral vitamin A twice daily. After seven weeks the anorectal symptoms and anal ulcer completely resolved. The authors noted that vitamin A seems to be very effective in the treatment of radiation-induced anorectal damage, with little toxicity and expense.

HUMAN RESEARCH
65. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2003 Jun;10(2):131-40.
The role of vitamin D and retinoids in controlling prostate cancer progression.
Peehl DM, Feldman D.
USA
According to these researchers premalignant lesions and invasive cancer occur more frequently in the prostate than in any organ other than the skin. However, they say, because of the slow growth of prostate cancer and the different rates in different locales and among different racial or ethnic groups there is a feeling that prostate cancer can be controlled, perhaps by dietary factors. They say that vitamin D and retinoids top the list of nutrients that may prevent and treat prostate cancer. A literature search finds that many of the activities of these compounds found in epidemiological studies, research with cell culture and animal models, and clinical trials, are consistent with tumor suppressor effects which need further study.

HUMAN RESEARCH
66. Int J Tissue React. 2002;24(4):123-30.
Topical retinaldehyde treatment in oral lichen planus and leukoplakia.
Boisnic S, Licu D, Ben Slama L, Branchet-Gumila MC, Szpirglas H, Dupuy P.
France
Retinaldehyde (a metabolite of vitamin A) gel 0.1% showed good clinical efficacy in the treatment of oral lichen planus and leukoplakia. In thirty patients treated twice daily for two months there was 6% disappearance and 82% improvement of the lesions in lichen planus and 17% disappearance and 75% improvement in leukoplakia. Furthermore retinaldehyde resulted in histological disappearance of abnormal keratinization in 80% of the lichen planus fragments and 40% of the leukoplakia fragments.

HUMAN RESEARCH
67. Br J Cancer. 2003 May 6;88(9):1381-7.
Dietary intakes of vitamins A, C, and E and risk of melanoma in two cohorts of women.
Feskanich D, Willett WC, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA.
USA
Using data from the Nurses' Health Study the authors examined whether higher intakes of vitamin C, vitamin E, retinol, or individual tocopherols or carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of melanoma. During the follow up period the researchers confirmed 414 cases of invasive melanoma among over 162,000 Caucasian women aged 25-77. Diet was measured every 4 years with a food frequency questionnaire and supplement use was reported every 2 years. The data showed that retinol intake from foods plus supplements appeared protective within a subgroup of women.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
68. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2003 Jun 13;66(11):1053-72.
Health of tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nestlings exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbons in the St Lawrence River basin. Part I. Renal and hepatic vitamin A concentrations.
Martinovic B, Lean DR, Bishop CA, Birmingham E, Secord A, Jock K.
Canada
A study of tree swallows showed high levels of dioxin and low levels of vitamin A suggesting that current levels of organochlorine contaminants in the St. Lawrence River and surrounding tributaries may be interacting negatively with the vitamin A pathway. There is concern expressed by the authors that lower circulating levels and higher tissue concentrations of retinoids may result in compromised immune function and reduced reproductive success in adult birds.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
69.J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Dec;48(6):453-60.
Response of the insulin-like growth factor system to vitamin A depletion and repletion in rats.
Fu Z, Yoneyama M, Noguchi T, Kato H.
Japan
Researchers in this study examined the effects of vitamin A status on components of the crucial IGF (insulin growth factor) system in rats. Initially male rats (3-weeks-old) were fed a vitamin A-deficient diet for 11 weeks and developed vitamin A deficiency, which was confirmed by the depletion of blood testing of retinol and hepatic retinyl palmitate. It became evident that rats fed the vitamin A-deficient diet had significantly lower body weight and lower serum IGF-I concentrations than the rats fed the control diet. IGF-I levels were also 40% lower in the liver and lungs. In the treatment phase of the study, when vitamin A-deficient rats received a single injection of retinoic acid (2 mg/rat), there were different response rates to various IGF components. According to the authors their results indicated an involvement of the IGF system in mediating the physiological actions of vitamin A, including vitamin A-supported growth, in the rat.

HUMAN RESEARCH
70. Int Urol Nephrol. 2002;34(2):207-14.
Chemoprevention of carcinoma prostate: a review.
Ansari MS, Gupta NP, Hemal AK.
India
A twenty-year review of the literature on chemoprevention of prostate cancer was undertaken by the authors. They found that nutritional factors including reduced fat intake, supplemental vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, Lycopene and selenium may have a protective effect against prostate cancer. the authors concluded that on the basis of numerous studies, dietary and nutritional intervention should occur at the onset of prostate cancer.

HUMAN RESEARCH
71. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;57(5):654-66.
Nutrient intake and iron status of urban poor and rural poor without access to rice fields are affected by the emerging economic crisis: the case of pregnant Indonesian women.
Hartini TN, Winkvist A, Lindholm L, Stenlund H, Persson V, Nurdiati DS, Surjono A.
Indonesia
Forty percent of 240 pregnant women studied were in danger of inadequate intake of energy and protein, and 70% were at risk of inadequate intake of vitamin A, calcium and iron. The authors were especially concerned because urban poor and rural poor landless women will be most directly affected by the emerging economic crisis and experience even greater nutritional inadequacies.

HUMAN RESEARCH
72. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1969S-1973S.
Micronutrients and reproductive health issues: an international perspective.
Christian P.
USA
This author studied the literature and commented on a study in Nepal which found that maternal vitamin A or beta-carotene supplementation reduces pregnancy-related mortality. These findings lend weight to observations that there is a significantly higher risk of mortality among night-blind women compared to non-night-blind women long after the termination of pregnancy and the resolution of night blindness.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
73. J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Apr;14(4):211-8.
Vitamin E supplementation in the mitigation of carbon tetrachloride induced oxidative stress in rats(1).
MacDonald-Wicks LK, Garg ML.
Australia
In a study of vitamin E supplementation of carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) poisoning of rats it was found that plasma concentrations of trans-retinol (vitamin A) were reduced by CCl(4) administration in both the dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate supplemented and unsupplemented diet groups.

HUMAN RESEARCH
74. Curr Drug Targets Cardiovasc Haematol Disord. 2003 Mar;3(1):31-57.
Retinoids: pleiotropic agents of therapy for vascular diseases?
Streb JW, Miano JM.
USA
This paper is an overview of the use of retinoids, the natural and synthetic derivatives of vitamin A, in vascular disease. The authors acknowledge that retinoids have been used clinically to treat a variety of skin diseases and cancer. They say that the way retinoids work is by binding to and activating receptors on genes and turning them on or off. They are working from the premise that recent evidence demonstrates that retinoids alleviate experimental vessel wall narrowing due to atherosclerosis, post-balloon injury stenosis, and bypass graft failure. There is also evidence that retinoids work at the level of a particular smooth muscle cell (SMC) in blood vessels. In their review of the literature they also report that there are a growing number of in vitro studies that have reported desirable effects of retinoids on cell migration, proliferation, apoptosis, matrix remodeling, fibrinolysis, coagulation, and inflammation, all of which have an impact on vascular disease.
The authors conclude by saying that cancer and vascular disease are similar in pathogenesis, therefore, retinoids should be considered for the treatment of human vascular disease.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
75. J Immunol. 2003 Jun 1;170(11):5793-8.
Retinoic Acid Reduces Autoimmune Renal Injury and Increases Survival in NZB/W F(1) Mice.
Kinoshita K, Yoo BS, Nozaki Y, Sugiyama M, Ikoma S, Ohno M, Funauchi M, Kanamaru A.
Japan
The authors acknowledge that retinoic acids, a group of natural and synthetic vitamin A derivatives, have potent antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory properties. They cite a recent study that reported inhibition of Th1 cytokine production. This study on a mouse model of lupus nephritis found that treatment with the retinoid, all-trans-retinoid acid (ATRA) produced longer survival, significant reduction of proteinuria, and less renal pathological findings including glomerular IgG deposits, and serum anti-DNA Abs. It was also noted that there was less spleen enlargement in the treated mice. The authors concluded that treatment with retinoids greatly improves autoimmune renal disorder and prolongs survival. They are hopeful that their study will pave the way to a new approach to treating patients with lupus nephritis.

HUMAN RESEARCH
76. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2003 Jan-Mar;17(1):92-7.
Retinoids in chemoprevention of cancer.
Verma AK.
USA
This paper is a review of retinoids for cancer chemoprevention. The author specifically talks about retinoic acid (RA), which is a natural product of Vitamin A (retinol) in the body and an permanent oxidation product of retinol. RA is an absolute requirement for differentiation of epithelial tissues. The author cites evidence that RA and a number of its analogs, both natural and synthetic (retinoids), are useful in preventing various cancers in test animals and reversing human precancerous conditions. The author concludes by saying that more clinical trials using retinoids should be mounted.

BASIC RESEARCH
77. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2003 Jan-Mar;17(1):46-65.
Retinoids in myelopoiesis.
Gaines P, Berliner N.
USA
Retinoic acid, a vitamin A derivative is essential in the differentiation of white blood cells.

HUMAN RESEARCH
78. East Afr Med J. 2003 Jan;80(1):17-21.
Vitamin A supplementation on child morbidity.
Haidar J, Tsegaye D, Mariam DH, Tibeb HN, Muroki NM.
Ethiopia
In this study 4,770 children aged between six months and six years were examined for xerophthalmia and nutritional status, and 281 children had serum retinol levels drawn. Treatment with vitamin A capsules produced significant reductionof Bitot's spot, fever, diarrhoea, edema, measles, conjunctivitis, stunted growth, wasting, and underweight. The number of children with normal serum retinol concentration also improved significantly

ANIMAL RESEARCH
79. Liver. 2003 Jun;23(3):179-86.
Retinoic acid modulates the cell-cycle in fetal rat hepatocytes and HepG2 cells by regulating cyclin-cdk activities.
Alisi A, Leoni S, Piacentani A, Conti Devirgiliis L.
Italy
The authors conclude that retinoic acid could be an effective cancer chemopreventive agent in liver cells.

HUMAN RESEARCH
80. J Health Popul Nutr. 2003 Mar;21(1):18-25.
Plasma vitamin A and C status of in-school adolescents and associated factors in Enugu State, Nigeria.
Ene-Obong HN, Odoh IF, Ikwuagwu OE.
Nigeria
The diets of six hundred adolescent school children were evaluated for vitamin A and C. A subgroup was selected to analyze plasma levels of these vitamins. The authors found that there seemed to be sufficient intake of vitamin A. However, 40% of the male and 32% of the female adolescents had low plasma concentrations of the vitamin. The authors concluded that there was a greater deficiency of vitamin A and C than estimated due to inadequate intake and/or poor bioavailability creating a serious health risk for adolescents.

HUMAN RESEARCH
81. Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(2):80-6.
Contribution of breastfeeding to vitamin A nutrition of infants: a simulation model.
Ross JS, Harvey PW.
USA
The authors on this study concluded that supplementing mothers with high dose vitamin A at the time of delivery along with the promotion of optimal breastfeeding practices can improve vitamin A nutrition and should be done.

HUMAN RESEARCH
82. Cardiovasc J S Afr. 2003 Mar-Apr;14(2):81-9.
Dietary markers of hypertension associated with pulse pressure and arterial compliance in black South African children: the THUSA Bana Study.
Schutte AE, Van Rooyen JM, Huisman HW, Kruger HS, Malan NT, De Ridder JH.
South Africa
In this study various nutrients were associated with reduction of high blood pressure in a group of school children: protein, carbohydrates, total fat, polyunsaturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, saturated fat, fibre, vitamin A, nicotinic acid, biotin, vitamin B(12), ascorbic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, phoshorus , and iron. Unfortunately the intake of most of these nutrients failed to meet necessary daily allowances.

HUMAN RESEARCH
83. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2003 Apr;13(3):281-6.
Changes in blood antioxidants and several lipid peroxidation products in women with age-related macular degeneration.
Nowak M, Swietochowska E, Wielkoszynski T, Marek B, Karpe J, Gorski J, Glogowska-Szelag J, Kos-Kudla B, Ostrowska Z.
Poland
A group of patients with macular degeneration were assessed for antioxidant capacity. One finding was that vitamins A and C were low in these patients.

HUMAN RESEARCH
84. Pediatrics. 2003 Apr;111(4 Pt 2):e534-41.
Implementing potentially better practices to improve neonatal outcomes after reducing postnatal dexamethasone use in infants born between 501 and 1250 grams.
Kaempf JW, Campbell B, Sklar RS, Arduza C, Gallegos R, Zabari M, Brown A, McDonald JV.
USA
In an attempt to reduce dexamethasone use in premature infants the following clinical regimen is suggested by the authors: 1. gentle, low tidal volume resuscitation and ventilation, permissive hypercarbia, increased use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure; 2. decreased use of postnatal dexamethasone; and 3. vitamin A administration.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
85. Development. 2003 May;130(10):2039-50.
A novel role for retinoids in patterning the avian forebrain during presomite stages.
Halilagic A, Zile MH, Studer M.
UK
The authors in this study suggest that there is an expanded role of vitamin A in patterning the anterior forebrain during development.

HUMAN RESEARCH
86. Cardiovasc Res. 2003 Apr 1;58(1):213-21.
Hypertension exacerbates the effect of hypercholesterolemia on the myocardial microvasculature.
Rodriguez-Porcel M, Lerman A, Herrmann J, Schwartz RS, Sawamura T, Condorelli M, Napoli C, Lerman LO.
USA
Vitamin supplementation, including vitamin a was helpful in both hypercholesterolemia and hypertension in improving myocardial vascular responses.

HUMAN RESEARCH
87. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging. 2003 Mar-Apr;34(2):140-4.
Amniotic membrane transplantation for corneal perforation related to vitamin A deficiency.
Su WY, Chang SW, Huang SF.
China
The authors prefaced this case study by saying that vitamin a deficiency can cause corneal perforation. A 36-year-old man presented with bilateral corneal ulcers and a serum vitamin A level of 14.0 microg/dL (normal, 24.57 to 105.71 microg/dL). Treatment included amniotic membrane patch, vitamin A replacement, topical antibiotics and lubricants. Healing occurred in 10 days along with normalization of the serum vitamin A level.

HUMAN RESEARCH
88. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2002;53(4):385-92.
Importance of vitamin A deficiency in pathology and immunology of viral infections
Kantoch M, Litwinska B, Szkoda M, Siennicka J.
Poland
The authors note that in developing countries, and especially among children, malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency and infections are the leading cause of death. They found that vitamin A deficiency is strongly association with measles and diarrhea.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
89. Circ Res. 2003 May 2;92(8):920-8. Epub 2003 Mar 27.
Increased fibronectin deposition in embryonic hearts of retinol-binding protein-null mice.
Wendler CC, Schmoldt A, Flentke GR, Case LC, Quadro L, Blaner WS, Lough J, Smith SM.
USA
This study began with the premise that precise regulation of retinoid levels is critical for normal heart development. The authors using a mouse model suggest that their work may have functional consequences for adult cardiac function and have relevance to fetal development in humans with low levels of retinoid intake.

HUMAN RESEARCH
90. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Apr;77(4):891-8.
Randomized efficacy trial of a micronutrient-fortified beverage in primary school children in Tanzania.
Ash DM, Tatala SR, Frongillo EA Jr, Ndossi GD, Latham MC.
Tanzania/USA
The following randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study stated at the outset that there are no studies on a population showing the effects of several micronutrients given together to combat micronutrient deficiencies. The authors concocted a beverage supplemented with ten micronutrients and determined the iron, vitamin A status, and growth of rural children from 6 years to 11 years of age. After 6 months the number of children with low serum retinol concentrations dropped significantly from 21.4% to 11.3% in the fortified group compared with a nonsignificant change (20.6% to 19.7%) in the nonfortified group. There were improved weight changes in the fortified versus the nonfortified group (1.79 compared with 1.24 kg), height (3.2 compared with 2.6 cm), and BMI (0.88 compared with 0.53). The authors concluded that the fortified beverage significantly improved anthropometric measurements and significantly lowered the overall prevalence of anemia and vitamin A deficiency.

HUMAN RESEARCH
91. Br J Nutr. 2003 Apr;89(4):475-82.
Plasma vitamin A and zinc levels in HIV-infected adults in Cape Town, South Africa.
Visser ME, Maartens G, Kossew G, Hussey GD.
South Africa
The authors studied 132 adults attending an HIV clinic to determine predictors of low plasma vitamin A and Zn levels. Retinol levels were low (<1.05 micromol/l) in 39 % of patients with early disease and in 79 % of patients with later disease. The authors argued that when blood testing is not possible that simple clinical features such as advanced disease and/or weight loss can be associated with vitamin A deficiency and zinc deficiency.

HUMAN RESEARCH
92. Free Radic Res. 2003 Jan;37(1):11-7.
Oxidative stress is evident in erythrocytes as well as plasma in patients undergoing heart surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass.
Ochoa JJ, Vilchez MJ, Ibanez S, Huertas JR, Palacio MA, Munoz-Hoyos A.
Spain
The intent of this study was to analyze the extent of oxidative stress, in both plasma and red blood cells, during bypass heart surgery. Five blood samples were taken from each of twenty-two patients during cardiac surgery to measure levels of antioxidants including retinol. The results indicated a decrease in concentration of plasma retinol at the onset of surgery. The authors concluded that their results indicated an increase in oxidative stress during bypass surgery, which met with antioxidant defense mechanisms but meant there is an increased probability of post-surgical complications if oxidative stress is not treated.

HUMAN RESEARCH
93. Free Radic Res. 2003 Feb;37(2):213-23.
The impact of different antioxidant agents alone or in combination on reactive oxygen species, antioxidant enzymes and cytokines in a series of advanced cancer patients at different sites: correlation with disease progression.
Mantovani G, Maccio A, Madeddu C, Mura L, Gramignano G, Lusso MR, Murgia V, Camboni P, Ferreli L, Mocci M, Massa E.
Italy
The authors set out to test the capacity of several different antioxidants to reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, increase glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity and reduce the serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFalpha. Fifty-six patients with advanced stage cancer were studied. The authors used the following antioxidants: alpha lipoic acid or carboxycysteine-lysine salt, amifostine, reduced glutathione, vitamin A plus vitamin E plus Vitamin C. Antioxidant treatment was given for 10 consecutive days. Results of the study showed that all single antioxidants tested were effective in reducing the ROS levels and three of them in increasing GPx activity.

HUMAN RESEARCH
94. Indian J Med Sci. 2002 Jun;56(6):259-64.
Effect of vitamin A supplementation on childhood morbidity and mortality.
Chowdhury S, Kumar R, Ganguly NK, Kumar L, Walia BN.
India
A group of 1520 children aged less than 10 years old were individually randomised in vitamin A and placebo group in slums of Chandigarh. Children, according to age received high doses of vitamin A: 200,000, 100,000, 500,000 I.U. of vitamin A every 4 to 6 months over the 15 month trial period. The authors found that the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was significantly reduced in the vitamin A group compared to the placebo group. The incidence of diarrhea and measles was significantly reduced in the vitamin A treated group. Risk of death was also significantly less in vitamin A group. The authors conclude that promotion of vitamin A rich diet or supplementation with synthetic vitamin A at 4-6 month interval should be a priority in populations where risk of vitamin A deficiency is high.

HUMAN RESEARCH
95. Gynecol Oncol. 2003 Mar;88(3):434-9.
The use of antioxidant therapies during chemotherapy.
Drisko JA, Chapman J, Hunter VJ.
USA
This study was undertaken because many cancer patients use alternative medicine along with their conventional therapy. The authors reviewed four common antioxidants: vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols), beta-carotene (natural mixed carotenoids), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and vitamin A (retinoic acid). They acknowledge that antioxidants act as electron acceptors as well as therapeutic biologic response modifiers. They conclude that may be beneficial when combined with cancer chemotherapy. They recommend randomized controlled trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of adding antioxidants to chemotherapy. Such a trial they say is now under way in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

HUMAN RESEARCH
96. East Afr Med J. 2002 Jul;79(7):355-9.
Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among pre-school and school-aged children in Arssi Zone, Ethiopia.
Asrat YT, Omwega AM, Muita JW.
Ethiopia
Four hundred and two children were examined for vitamin A deficiency. The incidence of eye conditions due to vitamin A deficiency is as follows: night blindness, Bitots spot, corneal xerosis, corneal ulceration and corneal scar were observed in 7.2%, 2.2 %, 0.2%, 0.5%, and 0.5% of the children respectively. Retinol blood levels were based on the WHO criteria and in the "low" range (<20 microl/dl) in 51% of the children. The authors concluded there is a public health problem due to vitamin A deficiency which is worse in school-age children as compared to preschool.

BASIC RESEARCH
97. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2002 Apr-Jun;107(2):235-9
New data about ITO cells
Stanciu A, Cotutiu C, Amalinei C.
Romania
Ito cells are fat-storing cells in the liver and they store vitamin A from the diet or supplemental administration. This paper reports that the quantity of vitamin A in the Ito cells decreases progressively in liver injury including chronic alcohol intake. The authors note that Ito cells are the principal cellular source of collagen and other extracellular substances in the liver.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
98. Vet Pathol. 2003 Mar;40(2):196-202.
Immunohistochemical study of retinol-binding protein in livers of polar bears (Thalarctos maritimus).
Heier A, Grone A, Vollm J, Kubber-Heiss A, Bacciarini LN.
Switzerland
The authors studied polar bears and the long-standing observation that liver tumors of unknown cause have frequently been described in polar bears. They remark that there is an association bet decreased vitamin A levels, chronic liver disease, and liver cancer in humans. It is of note that more than 90% of the body's vitamin A is stored in the liver, bound to an intracellular retinol-binding protein (RBP). Therefore, the authors did a retrospective study assessing RBP by immunohistochemistry in liver sections of 11 polar bears. Two polar bears had liver carcinoma, four showed other chronic liver changes, and five had normal livers. The bears with pathologic liver changes had markedly decreased staining intensities for RBP compared with normal livers. The authors suggest that vitamin A metabolism may have a part to play in liver cancer as in humans.

HUMAN RESEARCH
99. Clin Chim Acta. 2003 Apr;330(1-2):57-83.
The role of nutrition in preventing prostate cancer: a review of the proposed mechanism of action of various dietary substances.
Willis MS, Wians FH.
USA
The authors reviewed the literature on the positive effects of dietary nutrients with antioxidant properties in reducing the incidence or preventing the occurrence of prostate cancer. the nutrients reviewed included: carotenoids (e.g., lycopene), retinoids (e.g., vitamin A), vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, polyphenols, vitamin D and calcium. They acknowledge that many dietary micronutrients have demonstrated “significant and complex effects on PCa cell proliferation, differentiation, and signaling related to the initiation, progression, and regression of Pca”. But they conclude that it would be very important to find out how these nutrients work so that effective drugs could be developed.

HUMAN RESEARCH
100. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Mar 20;1637(2):142-50.
Oxidant stress is a significant feature of primary biliary cirrhosis.
Aboutwerat A, Pemberton PW, Smith A, Burrows PC, McMahon RF, Jain SK, Warnes TW.
UK
The authors studied oxidative stress in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) finding no comprehensive investigation in the literature on this topic. Lipid peroxidation markers, as a sign of oxidative stress, were significantly elevated compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Total glutathione where levels were significantly reduced at levels only 30% of controls. Serum selenium and vitamin A were also lower in these patients. The authors feel that their study clearly demonstrates that oxidant stress is a significant feature of early-stage primary biliary cirrhosis.

HUMAN RESEARCH
101. J Trop Pediatr. 2003 Feb;49(1):42-7.
Vitamin A status and nutritional intake of carotenoids of preschool children in Ijaye Orile community in Nigeria.
Oso OO, Abiodun PO, Omotade OO, Oyewole D.
Nigeria
In this study of 213 children and their vitamin A status and dietary intake of carotinoids it was found that in spite of a diet that seemed to be high in carotenoid foods their vitamin A levels were still low. The authors recommended that vitamin A supplements be introduced on a short-term basis.

HUMAN RESEARCH
102. East Afr Med J. 2002 Nov;79(11):598-603.
Effect of micronutrient fortified beverage on nutritional anaemia during pregnancy.
Tatala SR, Ash D, Makola D, Latham M, Ndosi G, Grohn Y.
Tanzania
A fortified beverage given for eight weeks to pregnant women was seen to improve their haemoglobin, serum ferritin and retinol status.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
103. Hepatogastroenterology. 2003 Jan-Feb;50(49):146-50.
Retinyl-palmitate reduces liver fibrosis induced by biliary obstruction in rats.
de Freitas Junior S, Bustorff-Silva JM, Castro e Silva Junior O, Jorge Gde L, Leonardi LS.
Brazil
The authors designed this study to determine if retinoid supplementation can reduce hepatic fibrosis as produced in biliary obstruction. They concluded that administration of vitamin A significantly reduced hepatic fibrosis.

ADVERSE EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC VITAMIN A
HUMAN RESEARCH
104. Am J Ther. 2003 Mar-Apr;10(2):148-59.
Overview of existing research and information linking isotretinoin (accutane), depression, psychosis, and suicide.
O'Donnell J.
USA
Isotretinoin (Accutane; Hoffmann-La Roche, Nutley, NJ) is a drug closely related to the chemical structure of vitamin A. Accutane produces severe birth defects but being a lipid-soluble drug it can also affect the nervous system. The author reports on intracranial hypertension, depression, and suicidal ideation with Accutane. Roche has added a product warning label about these side effects. The author suggests that the product is over prescribed and given to patients with mild to moderate cases of acne whereas it should be reserved for the most severe cases and monitored carefully.

HUMAN RESEARCH
105. Annu Rev Nutr. 2003 Feb 26 [Epub ahead of print]. Epub 2002 Feb 01.
Trophic and Cytoprotective Nutrition for Intestinal Adaptation, Mucosal Repair, and Barrier Function.
Ziegler TR, Evans ME, Fernandez-Estivariz C, Jones DP.
USA
The authors reviewed the therapeutic role for specific nutrients in the bowel. They suggested that various bowel functions such as intestinal epithelial cell turnover (proliferation, migration, differentiation, apoptosis), and gut barrier functions are in a constant dynamic process that are markedly affected by nutritional status. Therefore diet and nutrients are seen to play more of a role in these functions. They report that recent studies confirm the importance of such nutrients as: arginine, glutamate, glutamine, glutathione, glycine, vitamin A, zinc, and specific lipids in gut mucosal turnover, repair, adaptation after massive bowel resection, and barrier function. In their review they also found studies that prove the importance of endogenous bowel flora in generating short-chain fatty acids from diet-derived fiber and other diet-derived compounds and the effects of these agents on gut function.

BASIC RESEARCH
106. Acta Otolaryngol. 2003 Jan;123(1):106-10.
Vitamin A-storing stellate cells in the human vocal fold.
Sato K, Hirano M, Nakashima T.
Japan
This study found vitamin A in the human adult vocal fold mucosa. They concluded that vitamin A is an essential lipid soluble liposoluble vitamin and acts as a morphogen that controls the differentiation and morphogenesis of cells and this finding represents a new cell type in the adult human.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
107. IUBMB Life. 2002 Jun;53(6):289-94.
Nutrient-gene interactions in mitochondrial function: vitamin A needs are increased in BHE/Cdb rats.
Everts HB, Berdanier CD.
USA
In a rat model it was shown that diabetes-prone rats required more dietary vitamin A than normal rats.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
108. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Feb;67(2):109-16.
The effects of corticosteroids and vitamin A on the healing of tracheal anastomoses.
Talas DU, Nayci A, Atis S, Comelekoglu U, Polat A, Bagdatoglu C, Renda N.
Turkey
The authors found in this study that dexamethasone significantly impairs the healing of tracheal anastomoses in rats, however giving vitamin A reverses the impaired wound healing. They draw the conclusion that patients receiving corticosteroids may benefit from vitamin A when undergoing prolonged intubation and laryngotracheal reconstruction.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
109. Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Feb;40(2):181-6.
Protective effect of N-acetylcysteine against gamma ray induced damages in rats--biochemical evaluations.
Sridharan S, Shyamaladevi CS.
India
This study exposed rats to gamma-rays (3.5 Gy) causing increases in lipid peroxides. The plasma antioxidant vitamins E, C and A were reduced.

HUMAN RESEARCH
110. Urologiia. 2003 Jan-Feb;(1):35-41.
Structural-functional damage to cellular membranes in deficiency of vitamins A, E, B2, B6, PP in children with calculous pyelonephritis
Atadzhanov UZh, Utegenov NU.
Soviet Union
Patients with a history of kidney stones and calcification in the kidneys were assessed for nutrient deficiency and lipid levels. The authors found that lipid products and phospholipase, organ-specific enzymes are closely associated with low values of vitamins A, E, B2, and B6. Deficiency of these vitamins ranged from 76.8% to 94.6% in acute kidney infection associated with stones.

HUMAN RESEARCH
111. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2002;53(3):243-52.
Changes in vitamins intake in overweight and obese adults after low-energy diets
Pachocka L, Klosiewicz-Latoszek L.
Poland
Researchers found that after 18 weeks of a low-energy diet a group of 67 women and 29 men, aged 20-68, showed intake of vitamins A, B, C, and E below the RDA.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
112. Pediatr Res. 2003 May;53(5):726-30. Epub 2003 Mar 05.
Etiology of congenital diaphragmatic hernia: the retinoid hypothesis.
Greer JJ, Babiuk RP, Thebaud B.
Canada
The authors hypothesize on the origins of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), which is a major life-threatening cause of respiratory failure in the newborn. In this review paper of the existing animal research they outline evidence linking the retinoid pathway operating in utero as the source of malfunction.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
113. Food Chem Toxicol. 2003 Apr;41(4):463-9.
Some histologic and biochemical evidence for mitigation of cyanide-induced tissue lesions by antioxidant vitamin administration in rabbits.
Okolie NP, Iroanya CU.
Nigeria
In a study to determine the effects of antioxidants on cyanide poisoning three groups of rabbits were studied. The first group received pure grower's mash; the second group’s mash contained 400 ppm inorganic cyanide. The third group received daily oral doses of vitamins A, C and E, in addition to mash and 400 ppm cyanide. The two groups given cyanide had significant decreases in activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and alkaline phosphatase (AP) in the liver, lung and kidney but the decreases were significantly lower in the group fed antioxidant vitamins. An additional benefit of the antioxidants was vitamin marked reduction in the severity of histopathological degeneration in liver, lung and kidney. The authors concluded that these results strongly suggest that cyanide-induced tissue lesions may be relieved by adequate intake of antioxidant vitamin supplements.

HUMAN RESEARCH
114. Early Hum Dev. 2003 Feb;71(1):19-28.
Retinol concentration in maternal and cord serum: its relation to birth weight in healthy mother-infant pairs.
Gazala E, Sarov B, Hershkovitz E, Edvardson S, Sklan D, Katz M, Friger M, Gorodischer R.
Israel
The authors noted that for fetal development and growth vitamin A is an essential micronutrient. They wanted to study a possible association between low serum retinol and birth weight in healthy mother-infant pairs. Serum retinol was measured at delivery from 313 pairs of healthy mothers and healthy mature newborns. The conclusion reached was that the lower the birth weight the lower the retinol levels in cord and maternal serum.

HUMAN RESEARCH
115. J Chromatogr A. 2003 Feb 14;987(1-2):359-66.
Measurements of the major isoforms of vitamins A and E and carotenoids in the blood of people with spinal-cord injuries.
Burri BJ, Dopler-Nelson M, Neidllinger TR.
USA
People with spinal cord injuries had lower levels of vitamin A, carotene and vitamin E in their blood.

HUMAN RESEARCH
116. J Cell Mol Med. 2002 Oct-Dec;6(4):570-82.
Reactive oxygen species, antioxidant mechanisms and serum cytokine levels in cancer patients: impact of an antioxidant treatment.
Mantovani G, Maccio A, Madeddu C, Mura L, Massa E, Gramignano G, Lusso MR, Murgia V, Camboni P, Ferreli L.
Italy
Researchers gave oral doses selected antioxidants for 10 days to cancer patients to determine reaction on reactive oxygen species. The antioxidants were: alpha lipoic acid 200 mg/day orally, N-acetylcysteine 1800 mg/day i.v. or carboxycysteine-lysine salt 2.7 g/day orally, amifostine 375 mg/day i.v., reduced glutathione 600 mg/day i.v., vitamin A 30000 IU/day orally plus vitamin E 70 mg/day orally plus Vitamin C 500 mg/day orally in cancer patients, administered for 10 consecutive days. The authors found that antioxidants tested were effective in reducing reactive oxygen species levels. The antioxidant treatment also reduced serum levels of IL-6 and TNF.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
117. Reproduction. 2003 Mar;125(3):409-16.
Pregnancies and improved early embryonic development with bovine oocytes matured in vitro with 9-cis-retinoic acid.
Hidalgo CO, Diez C, Duque P, Facal N, Gomez E.
Spain
A metabolite of vitamin A, 9-cis-retinoic acid was shown to stimulate blastocyst growth after in vitro fertilization. The authors concluded that 9-cis-retinoic acid increased the developmental competence of the oocyte.

HUMAN RESEARCH
118. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2003 May;305(2):426-33. Epub 2003 Jan 24.
Regulation of the cardiac mitochondrial membrane potential by retinoids.
Korichneva I, Waka J, Hammerling U.
USA
The authors of this paper note that heart cells suffering irreversible damage under oxidative stress during ischemia activate their suicide program. They demonstrate in this study that retinoids influence mitochondrial function in heart cells. However, vitamin A, retinol, was protective because retinol deficiency worsened oxidative damage, as indicated by rapid loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and supplementation with a physiological concentration of retinol reversed this effect.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
119. Chem Biol Interact. 2003 Mar 6;145(1):1-16.
2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin induces lecithin: retinol acyltransferase transcription in the rat kidney.
Hoegberg P, Schmidt CK, Nau H, Ross AC, Zolfaghari R, Fletcher N, Trossvik C, Nilsson CB, Hakansson H.
Sweden
This study confirms that dioxin, as part of its toxicity, preferentially targets and destroys enzymes involved in retinoid metanbolism.

BASIC RESEARCH
120. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2002 Fall;57(3-4):319-41.
Palm oil: biochemical, physiological, nutritional, hematological, and toxicological aspects: a review.
Edem DO.
Nigeria
This review of red palm oil concluded that because of its beta-carotene content it may protect against vitamin A deficiency and certain forms of cancer.

HUMAN RESEARCH
121. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2003 Jan;32(1):13-5.
Study of vitamin A nutritional status and the correlation of vitamin A and iron in school-age children]
Lin X, Liu X, Long Z, Shen X.
China
The results of this study showed vitamin A deficiency was a serious nutritional problem in school age children. Fifty-nine percent of children had vitamin A deficiency.

ANIMAL RESEARCH
122. Toxicol Sci. 2003 Jul;74(1):147-56. Epub 2003 May 02.
Uptake and metabolism of all-trans retinoic acid by three native North American ranids.
Kosian PA, Makynen EA, Ankley GT, Degitz SJ.
USA
Tadpoles in their limb development phase were shown to metabolize all-trans retinoic acid, a Vitamin A derivative, into several isomers, many of which are known to bind to previously demonstrated retinoic acid receptors necessary in development. This study shows the importance of vitamin A in limb development.

HUMAN RESEARCH
123. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 2):1640S-1644S.
Potential cost-effectiveness of nutrition interventions to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes in the developing world.
Rouse DJ.
USA
This review article cites literature which suggests that post-birth (ante natal) maternal and infant care in the form of vitamin supplementation may be a cost effective method of health care in third world nations. The author advises large scale studies including real populations in order to determine the effectiveness of this method.

HUMAN RESEARCH
124. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 2):1606S-1625S.
Nutritional interventions during pregnancy for the prevention or treatment of maternal morbidity and preterm delivery: an overview of randomized controlled trials.
Villar J, Merialdi M, Gulmezoglu AM, Abalos E, Carroli G, Kulier R, de Onis M.
Switzerland
This paper is a review of the literature on vitamin regimens for post-term maternal care to prevent morbidity. Several supplements were suggested. Iron, folate, calcium, were deemed to be effective in preventing specific pre and post-term complications. VitaminsA, C, E and fish oil were determined to have possible positive results and demanded further testing. Many causes of death during and after pregnancy cannot be treated with a single supplement or single preventive approach, but diet and nutritional therapy must be included as a natural right and preventive measure to a healthy pregnancy.

HUMAN RESEARCH
125. Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2003 Jan-Mar;49(1):91-5. Epub 2003 Apr 28.
Nutritional status and food intake assessment of climacterics women
Montilla RN, Marucci Mde F, Aldrighi JM.
Brazil
In this study 154 women 75 percent had a body mass index above normal. The women in both the older and younger age groups were shown to have inadequate calcium , vitamin A and vitamin C. The study concludes that the two factors, high body mass and low nutritional content in food intake, pose a health risk for these women.