Maternal Vitamin A Supplementation Improves Lung Function in Children

September 20, 2010

Vitamin A may have a positive effect on adolescent lung function, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine'”but only if a mother takes it. From 1994 to 1997, pregnant Nepalese women participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, cluster-randomized trial in which they supplemented with vitamin A, beta-carotene, or placebo.

Vitamin A may have a positive effect on adolescent lung function, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine'”but only if a mother takes it.

From 1994 to 1997, pregnant Nepalese women participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, cluster-randomized trial in which they supplemented with vitamin A, beta-carotene, or placebo.

Years later, from October 2006 to March 2008, 1371 children who were descended of those mothers performed spirometry breathing tests. Forced vital capacity is the maximum amount a person can breathe in one breath, and children whose mothers had received vitamin A during their pregnancy had significantly better scores in this area, at a mean average of 46 milliliters higher.

Children whose mothers supplemented with beta-carotene produced results similar to placebo.

To read the study abstract, click here.

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