International experiences in assessing vitamin A status and applying the vitamin A-labeled isotope dilution method

Veronica Lopez-Teros, Justin Chileshe, Nicole Idohou-Dossou, Tetra Fajarwati, Gabriel Medoua Nama, Sam Newton, Malavika Vinod Kumar, Zhixu Wang, Emorn Wasantwisut, Janet R. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


© International Atomic Energy Agency 2014. Inadequate vitamin A (VA) nutrition continues to be a major problem worldwide, and many interventions being implemented to improve VA status in various populations need to be evaluated. The interpretation of results after an intervention depends greatly on the method selected to assess VA status. To evaluate the effect of an intervention on VA status, researchers in Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Senegal and Zambia have used serum retinol as an indicator, and have not always found improvement in response to supplementation. One problem is that homeostatic control of serum retinol may mask positive effects of treatment in that changes in concentration are observed only when status is either moderately to severely depleted or excessive. Because VA is stored mainly in the liver, measurements of hepatic VA stores are the "gold standard" for assessing VA status. Dose response tests such as the relative dose response (RDR) and the modified relative dose response (MRDR), allow a qualitative assessment of VA liver stores. On the other hand, the use of the vitamin A-labeled isotope dilution (VALID) technique, (using 13C or 2H-labeled retinyl acetate) serves as an indirect method to quantitatively estimate total body and liver VA stores. Countries including Cameroon, China, Ghana, Mexico, Thailand and Zambia are now applying the VALID method to sensitively assess changes in VA status during interventions, or to estimate a population's dietary requirement for VA. Transition to the use of more sensitive bio chemical indicators of VA status such as the VALID technique is needed to effectively assess interventions in populations where mild to moderate VA deficiency is more prevalent than severe deficiency.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)40-51
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'International experiences in assessing vitamin A status and applying the vitamin A-labeled isotope dilution method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this