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Vitamin A status of Korean children

Young-Nam Kim, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Vitamin A status of Korean children living in Kwangju, Republic of Korea was evaluated. Three consecutive 24-h food recalls and fasting blood samples were obtained from 123 healthy children (58 boys, 65 girls), aged 2-6 years. The vitamin A status of the subjects was assessed utilizing dietary intakes of vitamin A, plasma retinol concentrations, and retinol binding protein concentrations. Vitamin A and carotenoid contents of Korean foods commonly consumed by the subjects were determined using reversed-phase HPLC, and used to estimate vitamin A dietary intakes of the children, which represented more accurately actual intakes of the children than database values in Korea. All analyzed Korean foods contained β-carotene. Watermelon and sesame leaf had the highest β-carotene content (504 and 2581 μg/100g edible portion, respectively) in the raw fruit and vegetable groups, respectively. All types of kimchi in this study contained β-carotene and lutein, and except for cucumber kimchi, the values for β-carotene content in the kimchi analyzed were 47-79% lower than those in the Korean database. In the cooked combination foods, gimbab had the highest α-carotene and β-carotene content (158.3 and 266.6 μg/100 g edible portion, respectively). Considerable sample-to-sample variability in carotenoid contents were observed in several Korean cooked combination foods included in this study. The daily vitamin A intake (mean ± SD) was 239.0 ± 111.2 μg retinol activity equivalents. Approximately 15-26% of subjects consumed < Korean Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) for vitamin A; whereas, 57-64% consumed < EAR for vitamin A for USA/Canadians. The plasma retinol concentration was 1.11 ± 0.24 μmol/L. There were no significant correlations between intakes and plasma concentrations of retinol and carotenoids. Only 2.4% of children were vitamin A deficient based on having plasma retinol concentrations < 0.70 μmol/L. Plasma retinol concentrations of 42.3% of subjects were 0.70-< 1.05 μmol/L, which is considered indicative of potentially suboptimal vitamin A status. Therefore, some children may be at risk of inadequate vitamin A status in Kwangju, Republic of Korea. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Kim, Young-Nam, "Vitamin A status of Korean children" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3294901.