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Vitamin A Body Pool Size

Vitamin A deficiency is a serious public health problem in most developing countries. Accurate assessment of vitamin A status is necessary to develop and evaluate intervention programmes. The IAEA provides technical support to its Member States to use stable isotope dilution techniques to develop and evaluate programmes aimed at reducing vitamin A deficiency in populations. The stable isotope dilution technique, in contrast to other methods, has the potential to provide a quantitative estimate of vitamin A concentration across the continuum of status, from deficient to excess vitamin A body stores. Please visit the related links for more information on the theoretical background as well as the practical application of the technique of measuring the body vitamin A pool size.

IAEA Publications

Appropriate Uses of Vitamin A Tracer (Stable Isotope) Methodology. The Vitamin A Tracer Task Force, jointly organized by the USAID, HarvestPlus, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), 2004, 6 pp.
This publication gives a brief overview of the tracer methodology using dilution of stable isotopes.

Handbook on Vitamin A Tracer Dilution Methods to Assess Status and Evaluate Intervention Programs. HarvestPlus Technical Monograph 5. Haskell MJ, Mercado JD, and the Vitamin A Tracer Task Force, Jointly organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), USAID and HarvestPlus, 2005, 23 pp.
This publication describes in detail the stable isotope dilution technique, presents study protocols and outlines different uses of the technique.

Analysis of Stable Isotope Data to Estimate Vitamin A Body Stores. The Vitamin A Tracer Task Force, Jointly organized by Harvest Plus, the IAEA and USAID. 2008, 27 pp. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.
This publication describes model-based compartmental analysis of stable isotope data to estimate vitamin A body stores in humans.

Proceedings from an IAEA technical meeting held at the St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore, India from 7-9 October 2013. It includes technical papers from key speakers and papers summarizing goals and experiences in applying the retinol dilution method internationally as well as recommendation for further research.
International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. Volume 84, Supplement 1/2014

Assessing Vitamin A Safety in Large-Scale Nutrition Intervention Programmes:Setting the Research Agenda. This series of 3 papers report on a technical meeting co-organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 24 - 25 March 2014. The topics covered include 1) current knowledge on the safety and effectiveness of large-scale vitamin A interventions; 2) development of a research agenda for assessing, monitoring, and preventing health risks of excessive vitamin A intake in populations; 3) implications for optimal intervention packages, program monitoring and safety; and 4) strengths and limitations of the retinol isotope dilution methodology for assessing total body stores of vitamin A.
Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 37, Supplement 2, June 2016.