Nutritional anemia, considered to be the cause of iron deficiency, affects about 70% of pregnant women in the developing world. The effect of vitamin A and iron supplementation was studied in anemic pregnant women in West Java; the results impressed researchers in Indonesia, reviewers in the Department of Human Nutrition, in the Netherlands and the Center for International Health in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nutritional anemia is a very serious problem worldwide, and pregnant women everywhere and especially those living in developing countries are at particular risk.
Although the tests noted are significant, researchers say questions remain: By which mechanism does vitamin A increase hemoglobin (the essential component of blood)? Also, there is the mystery of why absorption of iron supplies in the body is not decreased during a vitamin A deficiency but increased.
The research, employing foods high in vitamin A, provided the basis of the study.