Evidence to Underpin Vitamin A Requirements and Upper Limits in Children Aged 0 to 48 Months: A Scoping Review

Hooper, Lee, Esio-Bassey, Chizoba, Brainard, Julii, Fynn, Judith, Jennings, Amy, Jones, Natalia, Tailor, Bhavesh V., Abdelhamid, Asmaa, Coe, Calvin et al (2022) Evidence to Underpin Vitamin A Requirements and Upper Limits in Children Aged 0 to 48 Months: A Scoping Review. Nutrients, 14 (3). e407.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030407


Vitamin A deficiency is a major health risk for infants and children in low- and middle-income countries. This scoping review identified, quantified, and mapped research for use in updating nutrient requirements and upper limits for vitamin A in children aged 0 to 48 months, using health-based or modelling-based approaches. Structured searches were run on Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central, from inception to 19 March 2021. Titles and abstracts were assessed independently in duplicate, as were 20% of full texts. Included studies were tabulated by question, methodology and date, with the most relevant data extracted and assessed for risk of bias. We found that the most recent health-based systematic reviews and trials assessed the effects of supplementation, though some addressed the effects of staple food fortification, complementary foods, biofortified maize or cassava, and fortified drinks, on health outcomes. Recent isotopic tracer studies and modelling approaches may help quantify the effects of bio-fortification, fortification, and food-based approaches for increasing vitamin A depots. A systematic review and several trials identified adverse events associated with higher vitamin A intakes, which should be useful for setting upper limits. We have generated and provide a database of relevant research. Full systematic reviews, based on this scoping review, are needed to answer specific questions to set vitamin A requirements and upper limits.

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