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MCQs in Tropical Medicine

Rob Skelly DTM+H FRCP

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Answer 70

Vitamin A (retinol)
False a. is found in green leafy vegetables
True b. high dose supplementation in pregnancy is teratogenic
True c. supplementation reduces mortality from measles
True d. supplementation reduces mortality from diarrhoeal disease

False e. supplementation reduces mortality from respiratory disease


Retinol is not found in vegetables. Beta-carotene is found in dark green leafy vegetables, mangoes, papayas, yellow corn, carrot etc. Beta-carotene is a pro-vitamin, converted to vitamin A by enzymes in the gut mucosa.

Supplementation is advised in communities where children are malnourished or have borderline nutrition. Many clinicians also advocate supplements of vitamin A (200 000 iu daily per os for 2 days, and repeated after 1 week), at time of diagnosis of measles. Measles causes reduced uptake and increased metabolic requirements. Furthermore, the virus itself may cause eye lesions. Xerophthalmia is rare outside the context of protein energy malnutrition.

Copyright: Rob Skelly 2006