Vitamin A Status

atROH represents the quantitatively major circulating plasma retinoid in serum, but serum atROH does not reflect vitamin A status unless low (<0.35 mmol/l or 10 mg/dl) or unequivocally adequate (>1.1 mmol/l in children and >1.4 mmol/l in adults). Humans show a range of normal serum atROH values, with unknown factors contributing to the individual's normal value, and fever, infection, and/or inadequate intake of other nutrients (e.g., zinc and protein) can depress serum retinol. Liver reserves provide the most reliable measure of human vitamin A status. Noninvasive assessments of liver vitamin A reserves (the relative dose-response and modified relative dose-response tests) measure the amount of dose in serum relative to the original plasma atROH after a small oral dose of marker vitamin A. The larger the proportion of dose that appears in serum, the lower the liver reserves.

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