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Study Finds Vitamin A Supplements Are Not A Health Panacea For Women, Babies

May 4, 2010: 10:05 PM EST
A new study involving more than 200,000 women in Ghana has found that, contrary to earlier research, vitamin A supplementation failed to save their lives or the lives of their newborn babies. The 1999 study in Nepal purportedly demonstrated that deaths among child-bearing women who were given vitamin A (or its precursor beta-carotene) dropped significantly – 44 percent. The new placebo-controlled study, however, found that vitamin A supplementation had no impact on the death rate, did not prevent hospitalization for childbirth complications and did not suppress the rate of stillbirths or newborn deaths. The authors concluded that their research “does not support inclusion of vitamin A supplementation for women in either safe motherhood or child survival strategies.”
Prof. Betty R Kirkwood FMedSci , Lisa Hurt PhD, Seeba Amenga-Etego MSc, Charlotte Tawiah MSc, Charles Zandoh MSc b, Samuel Danso MSc b, Chris Hurt MSc a c, Karen Edmond PhD a, Zelee Hill PhD d, Guus ten Asbroek PhD, and Justin Fenty MSc, "Effect of vitamin A supplementation in women of reproductive age on maternal survival in Ghana (ObaapaVitA): a cluster-randomised, placebo-controlled trial", The Lancet, May 04, 2010, © Elsevier Limited.
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