We report successful vitamin A supplementation by inhalation of retinyl palmitate in a placebo-controlled pilot study in twenty-five preschool children (2-5 years of age) in the rural district of Gondar, Ethiopia. Preschool children (n 161) were randomly selected from 220 households. Out of this cohort, twenty-five children were randomly assigned to each of two treatment groups: one receiving retinyl palmitate by inhalation of two puffs of an aerasol containing 1 mg (3000 IU per delivery to give a total of 2 mg (6000 IU); and the other receiving an aerosol without retinyl palmitate. Both treatments were administered every 2 weeks for 3 months. Serum retinol and retinol-binding protein concentrations in the vitamin A-treated group were 0.68 (SD 0.31 μmol/l and 59.4 (SD 24.2) mg/l before and 1.43 (SD 0.46) μmol/l (P < 0.01) and 97.3 (SD 31.2) mg/l (P < 0.05) 3 months after supplementation with retinyl palmitate, suggesting that this novel method of delivery of retinyl palmitate by inhalation is effective in improving vitamin A status.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Lucie Malaba for critically reading the manuscript and the Research Center for Nutrition in Prevention and Therapy for financial support.
- Retinyl palmitate
- Vitamin A