The positive impact of red palm oil in school meals on vitamin A status: study in Burkina Faso
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
- Université de Montréal. Faculté de médecine. Département de nutrition
BACKGROUND:Vitamin A (VA) deficiency is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and school-age children are a vulnerable group. In Burkina Faso, the production and consumption of red palm oil (RPO) is being promoted as a food supplement for VA. The objective of the study was to assess the impact on serum retinol of adding RPO to school lunch in two test zones of Burkina Faso.METHODS:Over one school year, 15 ml RPO was added to individual meals 3 times a week in selected primary schools in two sites. Serum retinol was measured with HPLC at baseline and exactly 12 months later to take account of seasonality. A simple pre-post test design was used in the Kaya area (north-central Burkina), where 239 pupils from 15 intervention schools were randomly selected for the evaluation. In Bogandé (eastern Burkina), 24 schools were randomised for the controlled intervention trial: 8 negative controls (G1) with only the regular school lunch; 8 positive controls (G2) where the pupils received a single VA capsule (60 mg) at the end of the school year; and 8 schools with RPO through the school year (G3). A random sample of 128 pupils in each school group took part in the evaluation.RESULTS:In Kaya, serum retinol went from 0.77 ± 0.37 µmol/L at baseline to 1.07 ± 0.40 µmol/L one year later (p < 0.001). The rate of low serum retinol (<0.7 µmol/L) declined from 47.2% to 13.1%. In Bogandé, serum retinol increased significantly (p < 0.001) only in the capsule and RPO groups, going from 0.77 ± 0.28 to 0.98 ± 0.33 µmol/L in the former, and from 0.82 ± 0.3 to 0.98 ± 0.33 µmol/L in the latter. The rate of low serum retinol went from 46.1 to 17.1% in the VA capsule group and from 40.4% to 14.9% in the RPO group. VA-deficient children benefited the most from the capsule or RPO. Female sex, age and height-for-age were positively associated with the response to VA capsules or RPO.CONCLUSION:RPO given regularly in small amounts appears highly effective in the reduction of VA deficiency. RPO deserves more attention as a food supplement for VA and as a potential source of rural income in Sahelian countries.
Zeba, A., Prével, Y., Somé, I., & Delisle, H. (2006). The positive impact of red palm oil in school meals on vitamin A status: study in Burkina Faso. Nutrition Journal, 5(1), 17.
Note(s)Affiliation: Augustin Zeba & Hélène Delisle : Département de nutrition, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal
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