Vitamin A supplement keeps malaria away

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Vitamins and minerals provide our body with essential nutrients and keep us in good health. (Read how to get essential vitamins from foods). While we need to take all of them from different sources, it is important to keep a track of what we eat to monitor how much of each vitamin are we getting as each of them has a different function. Vitamin A is packed with beta-carotene and antioxidants — read how they prevent cancer. These also help in getting rid of harmful free radicals. Here are some of its sources.

The study

Vitamin A may protect children against the mosquito-borne malaria parasite, a study said. Children under the age of five living in sub-Saharan Africa were 54 percent less likely to develop malaria if they had been given a single large dose of vitamin A, the findings showed. ‘Our research found that children who received vitamin A supplementation were less likely to become infected with malaria,’ said study leader Maria-Graciela Hollm-Delgado, postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Vitamin A appeared to be more protective under certain circumstances, including when administered during the rainy season, as well as when given to older children and when more time had passed since supplementation. For the study, Hollm-Delgado and her colleagues analysed national survey data from four sub-Saharan countries (Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal) on more than 6,100 children between the ages of six and 59 months. The researchers were looking for possible links between malaria rates and several types of childhood vaccines as well as vitamin A supplementation. Only vitamin A was found to be protective against the disease. (Read: World Malaria Day 2014: WHO calls for greater investment to check malaria)

source: the health site

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