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Hematological effect of supplementing anemic children with vitamin A alone and in combination with iron.

Ninety-nine anemic children aged 1-8 y were divided into four groups. Each group was supplemented for 2 mo with vitamin A, iron, vitamin A plus Fe, or a placebo. Clinical, hematological, and Fe biochemical evaluations were performed at the beginning and end of the study.

Vitamin A supplementation produced significant elevations in the serum levels of retinol, blood hemoglobin, hematocrit, erythrocytes, serum Fe, and percent transferrin saturation (%TS) and had no effect on total Fe binding capacity (TIBC) or serum ferritin. Fe supplementation did not affect serum retinol. However, it improved hematological and Fe nutrition indicators, including TIBC and serum ferritin. The simultaneous administration of vitamin A and Fe resulted in a better response of serum Fe and %TS than when the supplement consisted only of vitamin A or Fe alone. Vitamin A benefits hematological condition and Fe metabolism.