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Define requirements of Vitamin A of infants?
On the basis of vitamin A ingested by breast fed infants in well-nourished communities, ICMR (1990) has recommended a daily allowance of 350 mg of retinol upto 6 months of age (Table 14.7). In the absence of specific data on infants of 6-12 months, the same level of retinol has been recommended. In preschoolers, 400 mcg/d has been recommended up to 6 years old children from interpolation data, taking into account the growth rates at different ages and that infants require 50 mcg/kg while by adulthood, the requirements are 9.3 mcg/kg BW.
US infants receive about 140 mcg/d during first 6 months of age and if they draw their liver stores to meet their needs and continue on low vitamin A supplementary foods and diet in preschool years, they will show frank vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in preschoolers. Mega dose prophylaxis is given during infancy and early preschool age (upto three years) to prevent vitamin A deficiency in the preschool children in India. However, vitamin A requirements can be easily met by incorporating p-carotene and retinol-rich food sources in the diet of young children.
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