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A nutritional evaluation of vitamin E status in very low birth weight infants with respect to changes in plasma and red blood cell tocopherol levels



A nutritional evaluation of vitamin E status in very low birth weight infants with respect to changes in plasma and red blood cell tocopherol levels



Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 34(3): 293-307



Nutritional status of vitamin E was assessed in very low birth weight infants of less than 1,500 g, with respect to changes in plasma and red blood cell (RBC) tocopherol concentrations. The forty infants examined were divided into two groups in terms of their birth weight: group A, less than 1,000 g; and group B, 1,000-1,500 g. Immediately after birth, plasma tocopherol level was 335 +/- 101 micrograms/dl in group A and 316 +/- 103 micrograms/dl in group B, while RBC tocopherol was 187 +/- 48 micrograms/dl and 231 +/- 72 micrograms/dl packed PBCs, in groups A and B, respectively. In two infants, RBC tocopherol concentrations were less than 115 micrograms/dl, this level being reported as the lowest of the normal range. After birth, plasma and RBC tocopherol levels decreased markedly during 4 to 6 weeks of life especially in group A, while no decrease below normal range was documented in RBC levels in group B. A fine granule preparation of tocopheryl nicotinate (20 mg/kg/day) was administered in seven other infants, three in group A and four in group B. All three infants in group A showed no elevation of plasma and RBC tocopherol levels during the first 4 or 5 weeks of the administration, but a marked elevation thereafter. In three of the four infants in group B, an elevation of plasma and RBC tocopherol concentrations was documented after 2 weeks of the administration. The above findings indicate that no deficiency exists even in very low birth weight infants immediately after birth, while the deficiency may develop after birth, due to a poor ability to absorb fat.

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Accession: 006957492

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PMID: 3183778

DOI: 10.3177/jnsv.34.293


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