Vitamin A Supplementation May Improve Lung Function In Newborns

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Vitamin A supplementation may improve lung function in newbornsExpectant women who take vitamin A supplements before and during pregnancy have a greater chance of giving birth to a child with superior lung function, according to a new Johns Hopkins study.

For the research, a team of investigators analyzed the lung function of a group of children whose mothers had been assigned to receive vitamin A supplements, beta-carotene tablets or a placebo both before and during their pregnancy.

They discovered that women who took vitamin A supplements gave birth to children who had greater forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) and a greater forced vital capacity (FVC), two important measures of lung function. On average, the offspring of participants in the vitamin A group improved their lung function by 3 percent compared to the other respondents’ children.

"This benefit was limited to children whose mothers received vitamin A and not to those whose mothers received beta-carotene," said the authors of the study. "Early interventions with vitamin A in communities where undernutrition is highly prevalent may have long-lasting consequences in lung health."
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