Healthy birth weight results in higher vitamin A storage in neonate piglets administered high-dose supplements
A proposed intervention for newborn infants in countries with suspected vitamin A (VA) deficiency is to administer 50,000 IU retinyl palmitate at birth to reduce mortality risk. However, no studies have investigated birth weight effects. In this study, low birth weight (LBW; <1 kg, n = 18) and healthy birth weight (HBW) piglets (>1.5 kg, n = 18) from VA-depleted sows were dosed with 25,000 or 50,000 IU retinyl palmitate (26.2 or 52.4 µmol retinol equivalents) at birth to compare VA reserves. Blood was collected at varying times (n = 3–5/time/dose), and piglets were killed at 12 or 24 h for blood, liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, adrenal gland, and intestinal contents. HBW piglets had significantly higher birth, death, and organ weights than LBW (P < 0.0001 for all). HBW and LBW piglets, which received VA, had higher liver and kidney VA concentrations (0.18 ± 0.09, 0.24 ± 0.10 µmol/g liver and 13.4 ± 4.1, 14.2 ± 4.5 nmol/g kidney, respectively) than controls (n = 10) (0.051 ± 0.01 µmol/g liver and 1.01 ± 0.43 nmol/g kidney) (P = 0.0061 and < 0.0001, respectively). Total liver (9.75 ± 5.16 µmol) and kidney retinol (204 ± 79.1 nmol) were higher in HBW than LBW piglets (P < 0.0001). Extrahepatic tissues, except lung, had higher VA concentration than controls (P < 0.0001). Serum retinol and ester concentrations were higher in treated than control piglets (P = 0.0028, P < 0.0001, respectively), and significantly changed during the times sampled (P = 0.022, P = 0.011, respectively). Peak serum retinyl ester concentrations, which occurred at 3 h, were higher in piglets that received 50,000 IU (4.2 ± 4.4 µmol/L) than 25,000 IU (2.7 ± 2.3 µmol/L) (P = 0.031). Regardless of dose amount, HBW piglets stored more supplemental VA than LBW piglets when administered at birth.
Heying EK, Hovel E, Tanumihardjo SA. 2015. Healthy birth weight results in higher vitamin A storage in neonate piglets administered high-dose supplements. Experimental Biology and Medicine 240(10): 1378-1385. https://doi.org/10.1177/1535370215570185