Intake of Vitamin A or beta carotene supplements during pregnancy may not reduce the risk of maternal or infant death risk, according to new research.
A new study by Keith P. West Jr, of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues has suggested that pregnant women who received vitamin A or beta carotene supplementation in a randomized trial did not have a lower rate of all-cause maternal, fetal, or infant death, compared to women who received placebo.
Maternal vitamin A deficiency is linked to gestational night blindness, which during pregnancy is associated with increased risks of maternal anemia, illness and death, suggesting that preventing vitamin A deficiency could improve maternal survival, according to background information in the article.
"In this study, weekly supplementation of vitamin A and beta carotene in pregnant women in Bangladesh did not reduce all-cause maternal, fetal, or infant mortality," the authors said.
"Irrespective of mortality effects, achieving maternal adequacy in vitamin A through diet, supplementation, or fortification is an important public health goal, especially in populations in which night blindness commonly occurs during pregnancy," they added.
The study was published recently in JAMA.