Factors Affecting the Bioavailability and Metabolism of Vitamin A and Its Precursors

  • James Allen Olson
Part of the Nutrition and Food Science book series (NFS, volume 3)


In dealing with the problem of vitamin A deficiency in preschool children, the dietary intake required to satisfy the needs of a child for growth and the prevention of clinical symptoms of vitamin A deficiency should obviously be defined. At first glance, we are seeking a specific number, which appears to be a simple, easily resolvable task. In actuality, it is not a simple task at all, because the number keeps changing as a result of five major factors: 1) the bioavailability of vitamin A and its precursors in the diet, 2) nutrient interaction, 3) the presence, length, and severity of disease, 4) metabolic parameters — and in particular storage efficiency, the turnover of reserves, and recycling efficiency, and 5) statistical considerations. I wish first to consider each of these major factors, and then to suggest a new approach to vitamin A nutriture which might allow simplification of many of the complexities involved in assessing their importance.


Retinol Binding Protein Protein Energy Malnutrition Retinyl Palmitate Retinyl Ester Carotenoid Intake 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. NAS. Recommended Dietary Allowances, Eighth revised edition, Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1974.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Allen Olson
    • 1
  1. 1.Prof. of Biochemistry and BiophysicsIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

Personalised recommendations