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Revista de Nutrição

Print version ISSN 1415-5273


AMBROSIO, Carmem Lygia Burgos et al. Dehydrated pumpkin flakes for preventing vitamin A deficiency in preschoolers attending a daycare. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.1, pp.57-64. ISSN 1415-5273.

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the effectiveness of dehydrated pumpkin flakes for elevating serum retinol and the relative dose response in preschoolers. METHODS: Vitamin A intake was determined by dietary survey. The flakes were analyzed microbiologically and for carotenoid content. The children were then given 6 grams of flakes per day during lunch for 90 days. The relative dose response essay was done at baseline and end of intervention. Fasting blood samples were collected at baseline, 30 and 90 days to determine serum retinol levels by spectrophotometry. RESULTS: Microbiological analyses showed that the flakes were suitable for consumption. The mean serum retinol level of the children increased from M=1.438 (SD=0.45µmol/L) at baseline to M=1.659 (SD=0.51µmol/L) at 30 days and M=1.928 (SD=0.70µmol/L) at 90 days. At the beginning of the study, 18.5% of the children had serum retinol levels below 1.05µmol/L. This percentage dropped to 7.6% after 30 days and 0% after 90 days. At the end of the study period (90 days), no child had a positive relative dose response. CONCLUSION: Pumpkin flakes efficiently increase serum retinol levels and hepatic vitamin A reserves in preschoolers.

Keywords : Carotenoids; Cucurbita; Avitaminosis; Dehydrated flakes; Serum retinol; Vitamin A.

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