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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


DIMENSTEIN, Roberto; SIMPLICIO, Janicéia L.; RIBEIRO, Karla D. S.  and  MELO, Illana L. P.. Retinol levels in human colostrum: influence of child, maternal and socioeconomic variables. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2003, vol.79, n.6, pp.513-518. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: To determine colostrum retinol levels in breastfeeding women from the city of Natal, state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, and to investigate the relationship between retinol levels in colostrum and child, maternal and socioeconomic variables. METHODS: Forty-two healthy women aged 18 to 39 years were evaluated 48 hours after delivery. Socioeconomic, anthropometric, and dietary data were collected by means of a questionnaire. Body mass index was used to determine nutritional status. The Virtual Nutri software was used to analyze data on daily intake of vitamin A collected by a dietetic history. Retinol levels were determined in 2 ml of colostrum using high-performance liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Most women were of low socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. Vitamin A intake was adequate in 55% of the women (mean intake = 1,398.8 µg RE/day). The mean amount of retinol in colostrum was 93.1+51.1 µgRE/100 ml. No significant differences were found in terms of milk retinol levels for the variables income (p = 0.503), educational level (p = 0.708) and birth weight (p = 0. 499). However, a statistically significant difference was observed for nutritional status during pregnancy (0.016). CONCLUSION:The lack of influence of socioeconomic factors on colostrum retinol levels suggests the existence of an adaptive mechanism of the mammary gland to maintain adequate retinol levels that meet the infant's daily needs.

Keywords : Retinol; human colostrum; socio-economic variables; maternal-child health variables.

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